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Stocks slip as investors watch earnings, Fed

Stocks were down modestly Monday, Oct. 26, 2015,

Stocks were down modestly Monday, Oct. 26, 2015, as investors looked over earnings reports and considered what the Federal Reserve policymakers will do in meetings this wee. This flag flew on Aug. 24, 2015. Credit: AP

Stocks closed with losses Monday as a four-week rally stalled and investors assessed recent gains before the latest batch of earnings and a Federal Reserve meeting.

At the close on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average had fallen 23.65 points to 17,623.05. The Standard & Poor's 500 index was down 3.97 points to 2,071.18.

The Nasdaq composite, however, closed up 2.84 points to 5,034.70.

HOME SALES DROP: Housing stocks came under pressure after a surprise slump in sales of newly built homes. The U.S. Commerce Department said sales of new homes plunged 11.5 percent in September to a seasonally adjusted 468,000. That was less than analysts were expecting. New home sales have climbed this year, but higher home prices and slower economic growth both hurt sales, and September's total represented the slowest pace in 10 months.

EYES ON THE FED AGAIN: The Federal Reserve will meet again Tuesday and Wednesday, but few investors expect an increase in rates this year because the strength of the global economy remains uncertain. The Fed left interest rates untouched in September, which helped set off a rally that pulled stocks out of the red for 2015.

This story was compiled with reports from Bloomberg News and The Associated Press.

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