(By Balachander) U.S. stocks closed on a sharply lower note, extending its losses for the second straight day, as renewed worries about global economic outlook offset a set of encouraging housing and consumer-confidence data.
S&P 500 Index fell 1.05 percent to finish at 1,441.61. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.75 percent to end at 13,457.25. The Nasdaq Composite Index retreated 1.36 percent to close at 3,117.73.
Partly contributing to the weakness was comments from Philadelphia Federal Reserve President Charles Plosser, who said the Fed's recently launched mortgage bond-buying program will not do much to stimulate growth or lower unemployment and the move could harm the Fed's credibility.
On the U.S. economic front, a report from the Conference Board showed U.S. consumer-confidence rose to a seven-month high in September, climbing to 70.3 from a revised 61.3 in August.
The S&P/Case-Shiller House Price Index, which measures the change in the selling price of single-family homes in 20 metropolitan areas, jumped to 1.2 percent in July from the year-ago period, also coming in better than economists expectations of 1.0 percent.
Investors look ahead to a report on new home sales, which measures the annualized number of new single-family homes that were sold during the previous month, on Wednesday.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: CAT, TSLA, YHOO, RHT, PAYX, CCL, JBL, SPLS, MTN, FDS, UDRL
In corporate news, Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) retreated 4.05 percent after the maker of mining equipments expects earnings per share of $12 to $18 a share in 2015, versus $15 to $20 a share projected earlier. It forecasts revenues between $80 billion and $100 billion.
Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) tumbled 9.98 percent after the maker of electric vehicles slashed its revenue forecast for 2012, blaming lower deliveries of its Model S sedan. The company also announced a follow-on offering of roughly 4.34 million shares of its common stock and said its CEO Elon Musk has indicated a preliminary interest in acquiring up to $1 million of the shares.
Staples Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLS) fell 5.30 percent after the office products company announced a strategic plan to accelerate growth, including plans to close 45 stores in Europe. Staples expects a pre-tax cash charge of $145 million to $195 million by the end of this year.
Red Hat Inc. (NYSE: RHT) shed 4.29 percent after the provider of open source software solutions posted a 12.4 percent decrease in quarterly earnings due to higher costs and expenses, trailing market expectations by a penny.
Paychex Inc. (NASDAQ: PAYX) lost 2.75 percent after the payroll processor reported quarterly revenue that missed market expectations, while earnings came in-line.
FactSet Research Systems Inc. (NYSE: FDS) declined 4.47 percent after the company posted its fourth-quarter results and issued guidance for the first quarter.
Carnival Corp. (NYSE: CCL) reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings and revenue yields, and its U.S.-listed shares rose 1.67 percent.
Vail Resorts Inc. (NYSE: MTN) gained 8.14 percent after the company reported a narrower-than-expected fourth quarter loss as revenue rose.
Union Drilling Inc. (NASDAQ: UDRL) added 5.63 percent after the provider of contract land drilling services agreed to be bought by Sidewinder Drilling Inc. for around $242 million.
Jabil Circuit (NYSE: JBL) is due to release its quarterly results after the markets close, with expectations of EPS of 58 cents on revenue of $4.22 billion.
European markets closed higher, with Germany's DAX up 0.16 percent to close at 7,4245.11. France's CAC40 added 0.47 percent to finish at 3,513.81. U.K.'s FTSE 100 gained 0.36 percent to end at 5,859.71.
Asian markets closed mixed, with China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index down 0.19 percent to finish at 2,029.29. Japan's Nikkei 225 added 0.25 percent to end at 9,091.54. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index inched up 0.02 percent to close at 20,698.68. India's BSE Sensex closed at 18,694.41, up 0.11 percent.
Commodity & Currency Scan:
Crude oil futures dropped 0.84 percent to $91.16 per barrel while natural gas futures added 3.52 percent to $2.937 per million metric British thermal units. Gold futures lost 0.11 percent to $1,762.6 per ounce while silver futures shed 0.56 percent to $33.795 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro fell 0.17 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.2909. The British pound edged 0.17 percent lower against the greenback to 1.6191, and the dollar slipped 0.06 percent against the Japanese yen to 77.7900.