* Trump sets 90-day ban on travel to U.S. from 6 countries
* North Korea fires four ballistic missiles
* Fed meets next week to decide on rate hike
* Indexes down: Dow 0.24 pct, S&P 0.33 pct, Nasdaq 0.37 pct
(Updates to market close)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, March 6 U.S. stocks pulled back on
Monday in a broad decline as investors grew uneasy over the
latest tumult surrounding the Trump administration and
geopolitical tensions emanating from North Korea.
The S&P 500 has rallied about 11 percent in the wake of
President Donald Trump's victory in November, with investors
betting on the implementation of reduced regulations, lower
taxes and increased infrastructure spending.
However, a lack of detail on Trump's proposals, his
isolationist stance and setbacks in filling his Cabinet have
caused some investors to question whether the post-election
rally has run its course as stock valuations become stretched.
Trump accused predecessor Barack Obama on Saturday of
wiretapping him during the late stages of the 2016 election
campaign, but offered no evidence.
Some investors worried that the accusation could delay the
implementation of Trump's economic agenda.
"The bottom line is, investors have predicated this rally on
this new administration getting things done," said Jack Ablin,
chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank in Chicago.
"The more news that circulates that is now whipping
Washington into a frenzy, the less bandwidth they have to focus
on getting these measures through."
Adding to investor caution were rising tensions in East Asia
after North Korea fired four ballistic missiles into the sea off
Trump also signed a revised executive order on Monday for a
90-day travel ban to the United States from six Muslim-majority
countries, removing Iraq from the list after his controversial
first attempt was blocked in the courts.
Valuations are a growing cause for concern. The S&P 500 is
trading at nearly 18 times forward earnings estimates against
the long-term average of about 15 times, according to Thomson
Investors are also grappling with the likelihood of an
interest rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve at its meeting
next week, with traders now expecting about an 85-percent chance
of a hike versus roughly 30-percent at the start of last week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 51.37 points,
or 0.24 percent, to 20,954.34, the S&P 500 lost 7.81
points, or 0.33 percent, to 2,375.31 and the Nasdaq Composite
dropped 21.58 points, or 0.37 percent, to 5,849.18.
Of the 11 major S&P sectors, only energy, up 0.29
percent, managed a modest advance.
Among stocks, Snap Inc tumbled 12.3 percent to
$23.77 in its third day of trading, closing below the debut
opening price of $24. A group representing large institutional
investors has approached stock index providers S&P Dow Jones
Indices and MSCI Inc, looking to bar Snap and any other
companies that sell non-voting shares from being included in
Tyson Foods dropped 2.5 percent to $61.99 after a
strain of bird flu was detected in a chicken breeder flock on a
Tennessee farm contracted with the company.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a
2.33-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.45-to-1 ratio favored decliners.
The S&P 500 posted 16 new 52-week highs and 7 new lows; the
Nasdaq Composite recorded 61 new highs and 63 new lows.
About 6.18 billion shares changed hands in U.S. exchanges,
below the 6.89 billion daily average over the last 20 sessions.
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Nick Zieminski)