Stocks lost ground on Monday as investors nervously awaited an expected interest-rate hike from the Federal Reserve on Tuesday, and oil prices briefly topped $57 per barrel before retreating.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 64.28, or 0.6 percent, to 10,565.39, the lowest close since Feb. 1. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index fell 5.87, or 0.5 percent, to 1,183.78. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.28, or 0.01 percent, to 2,007.51.
Oil prices dipped after an early spike as OPEC considered another production increase to meet rising demand. However, crude remained above $56 per barrel. A barrel of light, sweet crude settled at $56.62, down 10 cents, on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Shares of El Segundo-based Computer Sciences Corp. gained 1.7 percent to $45.72 after the technology services firm announced that SunTrust Banks Inc. had licensed its CheckVision software to provide online banking-related services on CD-ROMs for its commercial banking clients.
Shares of Unocal Corp. fell 1.7 percent to $61.80 after the El Segundo-based parent entity of Union Oil said it settled lawsuits over alleged human rights violations committed during the construction of a Myanmar gas pipeline in the 1990s.
And Southwest Water Co. dropped 1 percent to $10.99 after the L.A.-based water production and distribution company's stock rating was downgraded to "sell" from "hold" by analyst Ivan Feinseth at Matrix USA.
On Friday, Southwest Water said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that its chief financial officer, Richard Shields, plans to resign once the company files its annual 10-K report. He will be replaced by Cheryl Clary, the company's vice president of finance, who joined Southwest Water in October from Del Richardson & Associates, where she was chief financial officer.
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