US STOCKS-Wall St off after housing data, Caterpillar drops

* Caterpillar shrs drop 8 pct after Q4 results

* New home sales fall unexpected in December

* FOMC 2-day meeting ending

* Indexes off: Dow by 0.4 pct, S&P by 0.4 pct, Nasdaq 0.1

* For up-to-the-minute market news, click [STXNEWS/US]
(Updates to add new home sales data)

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, Jan 27 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) fell on Wednesday
after data showed new home sales dropped unexpectedly in
December, as investors remained wary ahead of the U.S.
president’s State of the Union speech and the end of the
Federal Reserve policy meeting.

President Barack Obama, in his first State of the Union
address, is expected to promise more jobs creation and a
slimmed budget deficit. Fed policymakers will issue a statement
that may give clues on how long the Fed will keep in place
ultra-low interest rates and its easy-money program. For
details, see [ID:nN26106537] and[ID:nOBAMA]

New home sales fell for the second straight month,
according to the Commerce Department, while analysts expected a
rise. [ID:nN26112107]

Caterpillar Inc (CAT.N: ) and United Technologies Corp
(UTX.N: ) were the top two drags on the Dow, with Caterpillar
shedding 8 percent to $51.37, and United Tech off 2 percent to

Caterpillar posted stronger-than-expected earnings but
forecast 2010 profit below expectations, while United Tech
posted a 6 percent drop in quarterly profit and its finance
chief warned of a “tough” first quarter. [ID:nN27163192]

“The home sales data wasn’t good, and coming on top of some
bad outlooks, is pressuring the market,” said Dan Cook, senior
market analyst at IG Markets in Chicago. “However, we’re not
down as much as we could have been since no one is going to
make too big of a commitment before the Fed meeting and Obama’s

The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI: ) fell 36.57 points,
or 0.37 percent, to 10,155.51. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index
(.SPX: ) dropped 3.85 points, or 0.39 percent, to 1,087.94. The
Nasdaq Composite Index. (.IXIC: ) lost 3.01 points, or 0.14
percent, to 2,200.77.

Boeing Co (BA.N: ) was the Dow’s top boost, rising 2.8
percent to $59.30 after reporting that it swung to a quarterly
profit as revenues soared 42 percent. [ID:nN26103777]

Losses in the Nasdaq were limited by better-than-expected
results from Gilead Sciences Inc (GILD.O: ) and Yahoo Inc
(YHOO.O: ), both of which reported late Tuesday. Gilead gained
6.1 percent to $47.63, while Yahoo climbed 1 percent to $16.17.
[ID:nN26120092] and [ID:nN2519773]

Stock Today

(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

US STOCKS-Wall St off after housing data, Caterpillar drops