Wall Street lower as healthcare slips

NYSE traders Image copyright Reuters

(Closed): US stocks fell, led by declines in healthcare stocks, with pharmaceutical firm Mylan falling on concerns about a government probe.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 65.82 points to 18,481.48.

The wider S&P 500 index slipped 11.46 points to 2,175.44, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 42.38 to 5,217.69.

Mylan shares fell 5.4% after lawmakers called for an investigation into the rising cost of its emergency allergy injection, EpiPen.

The price of EpiPens in the US has shot up nearly 400% in less than a decade.

Other healthcare stocks also slipped.

Insurance firm UnitedHealth Group dipped 1.5%. Drug maker Merck saw is stock price slide 1.3%.

Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen is due to make a speech on Friday which will be studied for clues as to the timing of the next US interest rate rise.

Investors are remaining cautious this week ahead of a meeting of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

"The market over the past several weeks has been in a holding pattern, really not doing much of anything and the reason for that is everyone is waiting to hear what [Ms] Yellen is going to say," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial.

Recent comments by the head of the New York Federal Reserve, William Dudley, indicated the Fed might be willing to raise rates at its meeting in September.