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US STOCKS-Indexes ease as investors brace for key earnings, Fed

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·2 min read
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(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock markets, click or type LIVE/ in a news window.)

* Big Tech to report earnings later in the week

* FOMC to kick off two-day policy meeting from Tuesday

* Miner Newmont falls after raising annual cost forecast

* Dow down 0.1%, S&P 500 down 0.2%, Nasdaq down 0.7% (New throughout, updates prices, market activity and comments to late afternoon; new byline, adds dateline)

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK, July 25 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were lower in afternoon trading on Monday, with investors cautious ahead of a Federal Reserve meeting this week and earnings from several large-cap growth companies.

The S&P 500 technology and consumer discretionary led declines among major S&P sectors.

The Fed is expected to deliver a 75 basis-point rate hike at the end of its two-day monetary policy meeting on Wednesday, effectively ending pandemic-era support for the U.S. economy.

Comments by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell following the announcement will be key. Investors have been worried that an aggressive pace of rate hikes could tip the economy into recession.

"Right now we're just in a holding pattern waiting for all those developments to play out," said Michael O'Rourke, chief market strategist at JonesTrading in Stamford, Connecticut.

"Obviously, we're seeing some more weakness in the tech names. People are probably just taking some risk off ahead of the earnings."

Apple Inc, Amazon.com Inc, Alphabet Inc , Microsoft Corp and Meta Platforms Inc , are among companies due to report quarterly results this week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 20.32 points, or 0.06%, to 31,878.97, the S&P 500 lost 8.05 points, or 0.20%, to 3,953.58 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 84.09 points, or 0.71%, to 11,750.03.

In addition, advance second-quarter GDP data on Thursday is likely to be negative after the U.S. economy contracted in the first three months of the year.

Newmont Corp shed about 13% after the miner raised its annual cost forecast and missed its second-quarter profit, hurt by lower gold prices and inflationary pressures.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.34-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.12-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 1 new 52-week highs and 29 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 33 new highs and 87 new lows. (Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; additional reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Aniruddha Ghosh in Bengaluru and Sinead Carew in New York; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila, Anil D'Silva and David Gregorio)