Stocks slipped in quiet trading Monday as energy companies dropped with the price of oil. Metals and chemicals companies also fell. Company earnings remain weak, and Xerox and drugmaker Perrigo tumbled after reporting disappointing results and cutting their forecasts for the year.
Investors traded less than usual as they looked through a weak group of company earnings and prepared for the latest Federal Reserve meeting, which will conclude Wednesday.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 26.51 points, or 0.2 percent, to 17,977.24. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 3.79 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,087.79. The Nasdaq composite index slid 10.44 points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,895.79.
“The market is being restrained as much by uncertainty over ... companies’ ability to generate earnings growth and revenue growth as they are around uncertainty over Fed policy,” said Justin Christofel, portfolio manager with BlackRock’s Multi-Asset Income Fund.
About a third of the companies in the S&P 500 will report their earnings this week. According to Lindsey Bell of S&P Global Market Intelligence, analysts think earnings will fall 8 percent. That’s the third straight quarterly decline, and the largest in seven years.