* U.S. budget deal gets tentative approval
* LabCorp tumbles after outlook
* Costco shares drop after profit misses estimates
* Dow down 0.6 pct; S&P 500 off 0.8 pct; Nasdaq down 1 pct
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Dec 11 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks slid on Wednesday
after legislators in Washington reached a provisional budget
deal, which increased investor expectations that the U.S.
Federal Reserve may wind down its stimulus in the coming months.
The bipartisan agreement, reached late Tuesday, would end
three years of impasse and fiscal instability in Washington that
culminated in October with a partial government shutdown.
But while the deal removes a large overhang of uncertainty
for markets, it may also increase the possibility that the Fed
may soon scale back its $85 billion-a-month stimulus that has
fueled a stock market rally of nearly 26 percent this year.
In September, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke cited tight fiscal
policy as one concern when the central bank surprised market
participants by keeping the stimulus intact. A budget showdown
in Congress ultimately led to a partial government shutdown in
The Fed's final policy statement of the year is expected on
Dec. 18, at the end of its two-day meeting, its last in 2013.
"There is some profit taking, but also there is always going
to be fear about what the Fed is going to do," said Randy
Warren, chief investment officer of Warren Financial Service in
"The market is always concerned they are going to get the
timing and the quantity wrong."
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 88.65 points or
0.55 percent, to 15,884.48. The S&P 500 slid 13.95 points
or 0.77 percent, to 1,788.67. The Nasdaq Composite
dropped 40.211 points or 0.99 percent, to 4,020.279.
In company news, MasterCard Inc announced a 10-for-1
stock split and a new $3.5 billion stock-buyback program.
MasterCard also raised its quarterly dividend by 83 percent to
$1.10 per share. The news drove the stock up 3.8 percent to
Laboratory Corp shares tumbled 10.6 percent to $88.64
after the medical testing company cut the lower end of its
full-year adjusted earnings forecast. The stock of rival Quest
Diagnostics lost 5 percent to $55.65.
Costco Wholesale Corp shares slipped 0.5 percent to
$119.42 after the warehouse club operator's first-quarter profit
missed Wall Street's estimates because of lower gasoline prices
and weak foreign currencies.
Mining equipment maker Joy Global Inc forecast 2014
earnings below analysts' estimates after reporting a quarterly
profit that fell short of expectations as miners cut spending.
The stock fell 6.4 percent to $52.65.