Wall St falls as investors book gains

US stocks fell in light trading yesterday as investors took profits on recent gains, using middling economic data and worries about euro zone debt as a catalyst for shedding long positions.
Commodities stocks led the decliners in reaction to the rising dollar. The greenback was stronger as investors shifted away from the euro, which fell about 0.8 per cent versus the dollar in late trading. The S&P materials index led the decline, falling 1.4 per cent.

Volume was very light, suggesting traders were reluctant to build on recent gains but also unwilling to give up on September’s nine per cent rally. Combined daily volume on the NYSE, Amex, and Nasdaq was about 6.84bn shares, below its 20-day moving average of 7.23bn.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 78.41 points, or 0.72 per cent, at 10,751.27. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index lost 9.21 points, or 0.80 per cent, at 1,137.03. The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 26.23 points, or 1.11 per cent, at 2,344.52.

The rising US dollar pressured commodity-related stocks.