* JPMorgan falls on investigation, financial shares fall
* Longest losing streak of the year for Dow, S&P 500
* Indexes off: Dow 0.47 pct; S&P 500 0.59 pct, Nasdaq 0.38
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Aug 19 U.S. stocks lost ground on
Monday, with each of the major indexes falling for a fourth
straight session, as investors were hesitant to make new bets
ahead of an expected shift in Federal Reserve policy that could
lead to higher interest rates.
The declines marked the longest losing streak of the year
for the Dow and S&P 500, while the Nasdaq matched its longest
string of declines since mid-June.
The Nasdaq was positive for most of the session, spurred by
gains in technology shares, such as Apple Inc and
Google Inc, before selling pressure in the last hour of
trading turned the index negative. Apple shares gained 1.1
percent to $507.74 while Google advanced 1 percent to $865.65.
The Fed's policy of buying large amounts of bonds in an
attempt to keep interest rates low has been a major force in the
nearly 16 percent gain in the benchmark S&P 500 for the year.
But many analysts expect that to change at the Fed's September
With a relatively light calendar this week for economic
indicators, market participants are focused on the minutes from
the July Fed meeting, due on Wednesday, for possible clues into
"The market is just sitting on its hands right now until
Wednesday with the Fed," said Terry Morris, senior equity
manager for National Penn Investors Trust Company in Reading,
"The market has made a big run year-to-date and now
investors have to consider the possibility of rising interest
rates that could be for real, because the economy is growing for
real, as opposed to all the stimulus and there is the
possibility of the stimulus tapering."
Growing concerns about a pullback in the program contributed
to the Dow's largest weekly drop in more than a year last week.
In the bond market, the U.S. benchmark 10-year note yield
touched a two-year high of 2.90 percent on Monday.
Market breadth deteriorated in the latter stages of trading.
The cumulative net of trades on listed stocks was slanted by
over 32,000 to the negative, the largest disparity since June
20, the day after Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said the Fed could
reduce its bond-buying plan.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 71.11 points or
0.47 percent, to 15,010.36, the S&P 500 lost 9.77 points
or 0.59 percent, to 1,646.06 and the Nasdaq Composite
dropped 13.692 points or 0.38 percent, to 3,589.086.
The S&P 500 closed below its 50-day moving average for a
second consecutive session, a technical support level which
could portend further declines.
Financial shares dropped 1.3 percent. JPMorgan Chase
& Co fell 2.7 percent to $51.83 after a person familiar
with the matter said the bank was the target of a federal
bribery investigation into whether it hired the children of to
Chinese officials to help win business.
Bank of America Corp fell 1.9 percent to $14.15
while Citigroup Inc lost 2 percent to $49.33.
Zillow shares slumped 7.1 percent to $84.74 after the
company announced a stock offering and said it agreed to buy New
York real estate website StreetEasy for $50 million.
Intel Corp was a bright spot, up 1.7 percent to
$22.28 as the biggest percentage gainer on the Dow. Piper
Jaffray upgraded the Dow component and boosted its price target
on the stock.
Trading volume was once again light as a result of
uncertainty over the Fed and a lack of catalysts for investors.
About 5.22 billion shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange,
NYSE MKT and Nasdaq, below the daily average of 6.32 billion.
Declining stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by
2,487 to 576, while on the Nasdaq, decliners beat advancers
1,774 to 759.