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Stocks slip as investors watch China, wait for Fed

The New York Stock Exchange on Monday, Aug.

The New York Stock Exchange on Monday, Aug. 24, 2015. Credit: AP / Seth Wenig

The stock market closed slightly lower Monday as investors huddled on the sidelines crunching numbers on China's economy and waiting for a move this week by the Federal Reserve on a key interest rate.

At the close on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average had slipped 62.1 points, about 0.4 percent, to nearly 16,371. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gave up about 8 points, about 0.4 percent, to about 1,953. The Nasdaq composite declined 16.6 points, about 0.3 percent, to 4,805.8.

As the markets closed, the price of benchmark U.S. crude oil was down 54 cents to $44.09 a barrel in trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

More signs of slowing economic growth in China weighed on prices for copper and other commodities Monday. That sent prices for materials stocks lower. Energy stocks fell along with the price of crude oil.

Traders are looking ahead to the meeting of the Fed's Open Market Committee that begins Wednesday. The bank could raise interest rates for the first time since the financial crisis.

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