US STOCKS-Tech, megacaps drag Wall St to lower close as big market week kicks off


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      Apple, Alphabet, Amazon slide ahead of earnings

      Fed decision on interest rates on Wednesday 

      J&J falls after U.S. court rejects talc-lawsuit strategy

      Indexes down: Dow 0.77%, S&P 500 1.3%, Nasdaq 1.96%

 (Adds market details after close of trading)
    By Lewis Krauskopf, Shreyashi Sanyal and Johann M  Cherian
       NEW YORK, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Major U.S. stock indexes
sank on Monday, weighed down by declines in technology and other
megacap shares, as investors looked toward a major week of
events including central bank meetings and a slew of earnings
    The heavyweight tech sector  .SPLRCT  dropped 1.9% while
energy  .SPNY  shed 2.3%, the biggest drop among the S&P 500
sectors. Shares of Apple Inc  AAPL.O , Inc  AMZN.O 
and Google parent Alphabet Inc  GOOGL.O , which are due to post
results later this week, all slumped.
    More than 100 S&P 500 companies are expected to report
results this week, which also includes central bank meetings in
the United States and Europe and closely watched U.S. employment
    “The market has had a big run and the trading is a bit more
cautious heading into a week which likely will be an inflection
point for the overall market,” said Keith Lerner, co-chief
investment officer at Truist Advisory Services.
    The Dow Jones Industrial Average  .DJI  fell 260.99 points,
or 0.77%, to 33,717.09, the S&P 500  .SPX  lost 52.79 points, or
1.30%, to 4,017.77 and the Nasdaq Composite  .IXIC  dropped
227.90 points, or 1.96%, to 11,393.81.
    U.S. Treasury yields  US10YT=RR  rose, providing another
pressure point for tech shares that have otherwise rebounded to
start the year after a rough 2022.
    Despite Monday's declines, the S&P 500 remained on track to
post its biggest January gain since 2019. 
    The U.S. central bank is seen hiking the Fed funds rate by
25 basis points at the end of its two-day policy meeting on
Wednesday, following a 2022 in which the Fed aggressively
boosted rates to control soaring inflation.
    Fed Chair Jerome Powell's news conference will be
scrutinized for whether the rate-hiking cycle may be coming to a
close and for signs of how long rates could stay elevated. 
    “It’s probably one of the most important meetings since the
whole thing began," said Sameer Samana, senior global market
strategist at Wells Fargo Investment Institute. "Unless the Fed
extends that timeline meaningfully from what the market expects,
 which is that the Fed will be done in the next meeting or two,
this may end up marking the pause, so to speak.”
    Meanwhile, the European Central Bank is expected to deliver
another large rate hike on Thursday.
    Investors are also focused on earnings reports, amid
concerns the economy may be facing a recession. With more than 
140 companies having reported so far, S&P 500 earnings are
expected to have fallen 3% in the fourth quarter compared with
the prior-year period, according to Refinitiv IBES. 
    In company news, shares of Johnson & Johnson  JNJ.N  fell
3.7% after the healthcare giant's strategy to use bankruptcy to
resolve the multibillion-dollar litigation over claims its talc
products cause cancer was rejected by a federal appeals court.
    Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a
2.40-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.08-to-1 ratio favored decliners.
    The S&P 500 posted 5 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the
Nasdaq Composite recorded 67 new highs and 20 new lows. 
    About 10.6 billion shares changed hands in U.S. exchanges,
compared with the 11.2 billion daily average over the last 20
 (Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf in New York, and Shreyashi Sanyal
and Johann M Cherian in Bengaluru
Editing by Anil D'Silva and Matthew Lewis)
 ((; 646-223-6082; Reuters
Twitter: @LKrauskopf))

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