March 14, 2019 / 2:29 PM / in 2 months

US STOCKS-Wall St dips on trade uncertainty, weak new home sales data

* Trump-Xi meeting pushed to at least April - Bloomberg

* U.S. new home sales fall more than expected in Jan

* Apple rises as Cowen starts with “outperform”

* Facebook slips as global outage continues

* Trade sensitive Caterpillar, Boeing dip

* Indexes down: Dow 0.23 pct, S&P 0.22 pct, Nasdaq 0.20 pct (Updates to open)

By Amy Caren Daniel

March 14 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell on Thursday weighed by concerns of a delay in trade talks between the United States and China, and data which showed a higher-than-expected fall in new home sales in January.

Bloomberg reported that a meeting between President Donald Trump and China’s Xi Jinping to sign an agreement to end their trade dispute won’t occur this month and is more likely to happen in April at the earliest.

A day earlier, U.S. President Donald Trump said he was in no rush to complete a trade pact with China.

“The situation with trade is causing indigestion for investors early on. The deeper concern that is starting to creep up is that there is no sense of urgency at this point,” said Andre Bakhos, managing director at New Vines Capital LLC in Bernardsville, New Jersey.

Trade-sensitive Caterpillar Inc fell 0.6 percent, while Boeing, the single largest U.S. exporter to China, dipped 0.5 percent.

The world’s largest planemaker had its own troubles this week after its money-spinning 737 MAX jetliners were grounded globally following a recent fatal crash in Ethiopia.

The Commerce Department said new home sales declined 6.9 percent in January, while economists polled by Reuters had estimated new home sales slipping 0.6 percent, suggesting the housing market weakness persisted early in the first quarter.

The PHLX housing index fell 0.6 percent on the news, while the broader real estate sector declined 0.3 percent.

Apple Inc rose 0.8 percent and was the biggest boost to the S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes, after brokerage Cowen and Co started coverage with “outperform” rating. It also helped the technology sector rise 0.21 percent.

The S&P and Nasdaq have posted three consecutive sessions of gains this week, buoyed by domestic data that underscored the Federal Reserve’s patient stance on future interest rate hikes.

A dovish Federal Reserve and hopes of a U.S.-China trade deal have helped the S&P rally about 12 percent this year and has put the benchmark index just 4.3 percent away from its September record closing high.

“We’ve had a strong run in markets this week and investors are taking a pause to digest the gains, and use the delay in trade talks as an excuse to take a break from buying,” Bakhos said.

Facebook Inc fell 2.1 percent as the social media giant struggled to restore its services fully after a 17-hour partial outage.

At 10:14 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 59.98 points, or 0.23 percent, at 25,642.91. The S&P 500 was down 6.13 points, or 0.22 percent, at 2,804.79 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 15.66 points, or 0.20 percent, at 7,627.75.

UK lawmakers on Wednesday voted in favor of a motion that ruled out a potentially disorderly “no-deal” Brexit under any circumstance, though another crucial vote to delay leaving the European Union is pending on Thursday evening.

Johnson & Johnson fell 0.6 percent after a California jury awarded $29 million to a woman who said that asbestos in the company’s talcum-powder-based products caused her cancer.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.48-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.48-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 11 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 28 new highs and 18 new lows. (Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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