June 25, 2019 / 3:53 PM / a year ago

US STOCKS-Wall St dragged down by Iran tensions, trade worries; Fed in focus

* Communication services, technology sector fall the most

* AbbVie slides after $63 bln deal to buy Allergan

* Fed Chair Powell slated to speak at 1:00 p.m. ET

* Indexes down: 0.21%, S&P 0.41%, Nasdaq 0.75% (Changes comment, adds details, updates prices)

By Medha Singh

June 25 (Reuters) - Wall Street’s main indexes slipped on Tuesday, hit by trade jitters and rising tensions in the Middle East, while investors focused on speeches by Federal Reserve officials for clues on monetary policy.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell is among a host of central bank policymakers scheduled to speak amid rising expectations of an interest rate cut for the first time since the financial crisis.

Traders fully expect a rate cut from the U.S. central bank in July and see a 40% chance of a 50 basis point move, CME Group’s FedWatch program showed.

The banking sector, which tends to take a hit from a low interest rate environment, was down 0.83%, while the financial sector dropped 0.5%.

The prospect of more monetary stimulus for the economy has helped Wall Street’s main indexes rise a least 6.5% this month, with the S&P 500 hitting a record high last week.

“We’ve just got a market here that has perhaps reached a level of fatigue,” said Bill Northey, senior investment director at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Minneapolis.

Dampening hopes of a U.S.-China trade deal at the G20 summit later this week, a senior U.S. official said President Donald Trump is “comfortable with any outcome” from the talks with his Chinese counterpart.

“We’re not of a belief that anything material is likely to come from this meeting (G20), other than potentially an agreement to continue to negotiate,” Northey said.

In a dramatic and unprecedented move to increase pressure on Iran, Trump on Monday imposed new sanctions on the country’s supreme leader and foreign minister, driving investors toward government bonds, the yen and Swiss franc.

At 11:07 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 56.33 points, or 0.21%, at 26,671.21, the S&P 500 was down 12.05 points, or 0.41%, at 2,933.30 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 59.87 points, or 0.75%, at 7,945.83.

The communication services sector fell 1.35% and the technology sector 0.72%, the most among the 11 major S&P sectors.

A multibillion dollar deal helped the healthcare sector stay afloat. AbbVie Inc said it would buy Botox-maker Allergan Plc for about $63 billion. Allergan surged 26.5%, while shares of AbbVie tumbled 14.9%.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.28-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 1.40-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 23 new 52-week highs and five new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 16 new highs and 52 new lows. (Reporting by Medha Singh and Aparajita Saxena in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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