NEW YORK, Sept 17 (Reuters) - U.S.-listed shares of foreign companies edged lower on Monday after their best two weeks in seven months, with investors turning their attention to the economy and instability in the Middle East.
Overseas shares rose for a fourth session on Friday, a day after the Federal Reserve took bold action to spur the economy. The Fed's move followed a decision by the European Central Bank to support debt-ridden euro-zone nations by purchasing their debt.
With little other news in the headlines, analysts said the recent unrest in the Middle East could lead to weakness in the U.S. stock market.
Thousands of protesters took to the streets of the Afghan capital on Monday in the latest of demonstrations that have swept the Muslim world, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that Iran would reach the brink of being able to build a nuclear bomb in just six or seven months.
The Bank of New York Mellon index of leading Israeli American Depository Receipts fell 1.4 percent, a drop well in excess of the overall market. Teva Pharmaceuticals , Israel's biggest company, fell 1.6 percent to $40.04.
The BNY Mellon index of leading American depositary receipts lost 0.3 percent, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index also slipped 0.3 percent.
Factory activity in New York state contracted for a second month in a row in September, falling to its lowest level in nearly 3-1/2 years, a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York showed. A national ISM manufacturing survey earlier this month showed the sector contracted for a third month in August.
European shares traded in New York were little changed even as European stocks fell from 14-month highs on Monday as traders cashed in gains and looked for clarification on whether Spain will seek financial aid to tackle its debt crisis.
The BNY Mellon index of leading European ADRs dipped 0.1 percent, while the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top shares fell 0.3 percent to close at 1,116.58.
Spain's Banco Santander edged up 0.14 percent.
Elsewhere, the BNY Mellon index of leading Asian ADRs dropped 0.9 percent and the BNY Mellon index of leading Latin American ADRs fell 0.2 percent.