NEW YORK, Jan. 2, 2019 (Xinhua) -- Electronic screens with trading data are seen at the New York Stock Exchange in New York, the United States, on Jan. 2, 2019. U.S. stocks ended slightly higher on Wednesday, starting a new year with a fluctuant trad. Image Source: IANS News

New York, March 5 : US stocks ended lower as investors digested weaker-than-expected US construction spending data in December last year and a batch of healthcare stocks extended losses.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Monday decreased 206.67 points, or 0.79 per cent, to 25,819.65. The S&P 500 decreased 10.88 points, or 0.39 per cent, to 2,792.81, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 17.79 points, or 0.23 per cent, to 7,577.57.

Shares of Healthcare Services Group plunged more than 13 per cent around market close, as the US healthcare insurance company said it failed to file its Form 10-K for 2018 to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) due to earnings per share calculation practices problems.

Form 10-K refers to an annual comprehensive summary report of a publicly traded company, which is required to file to the SEC, with much more details than other yearly reports.

Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond also declined more than 5.3 per cent, after British leading investment bank Barclays downgraded the US chain of housewares retail stores from "equal weight" to "underweight".

Six of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors traded on a downbeat note, with the health care sector down over 1.3 per cent, leading the laggards among the groups.

The three major indexes began to lose their morning gains after the latest US monthly construction spending turned up to be unexpectedly below market expectations, fueling concerns over a weakening economic growth since the end of 2018.

On the economic front, US construction spending sank 0.6 per cent in December 2018, with year-on-year growth falling to 1.6 per cent, the weakest growth rate in at least three years, the US Census Bureau said on Monday.

The unexpected drop came following a 0.8 per cent increase in November, as spending in private residential construction declined 1.4 per cent in the month.

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