Stocks finished mixed on Monday as investors looked ahead to a jam-packed week of central bank news, economic releases, and corporate earnings results. The Dow added 28 points, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite fell 0.2% and 0.4%, respectively.
The conclusion of the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting Wednesday afternoon is being highly anticipated with the central bank widely expected to cut interest rates for the first time since 2008. Market participants will also focus on Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s post-meeting press conference in an attempt to gauge the future path of monetary policy. Trade remains in focus this week with the U.S. delegation traveling to China for the first face-to-face talks since the negotiations came to a standstill in May. On the data front, manufacturing activity in the Dallas Fed region improved to -6.3 in July from the prior month’s reading of -12.1, however the gauge notched its third consecutive negative reading. Treasuries strengthened with the yield on the 10-year note one basis point to 2.06%.
The Consumer Discretionary and Communications groups weighed on the S&P 500 with Amazon shedding 1.6% and Facebook slipping 1.9%. The Health Care sector was a notable gainer with shares of Mylan jumping 12.6% following an announcement that the generic pharmaceutical giant will form a new entity with Pfizer’s off-patent drug unit in a stock swap deal. Separately, Mylan and Pfizer both exceeded Wall Street earnings estimates.
In commodities, WTI crude added 1.5% to $57.02/barrel. COMEX gold added 0.4% to $1,425.50/ounce.