Stocks May Lack Direction Ahead Of Fed Meeting

After turning in a mixed performance last week, stocks may show a lack of direction in early trading on Monday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a modestly lower open for the markets, with the Dow futures down by 9 points.

Traders may be reluctant to make significant moves ahead of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy announcement on Wednesday.

While the Fed is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged, traders will pay close attention to the accompanying statement.

Earnings news will also be in the spotlight this week, as 3M (MMM), DuPont (DD), General Motors (GM), McDonald’s (MCD), AT&T (T), Boeing (BA), Coca-Cola (KO), Ford (F), Facebook (FB), Amazon (AMZN), and Exxon Mobil (XOM) are among a slew of companies due to report their results.

Shortly after the start of trading, the National Association of Realtors is scheduled to release a report on existing home sales in the month of June.

Existing home sales are expected to drop by 1.0 percent after climbing by 1.1 percent to an annual rate of 5.62 million in May.

Following the lackluster performance seen on Thursday, stocks saw modest weakness during trading on Friday. Selling pressure was somewhat subdued, however, limiting the downside for the major averages.

The major averages ended the day slightly lower but well off their worst levels. The Dow dipped 31.71 points or 0.2 percent to 21,580.07, the Nasdaq slipped 2.25 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 6,387.75 and the S&P 500 edged down 0.91 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 2,472.54.

For the week, the major averages turned in a mixed performance. The Dow fell by 0.3 percent, while the Nasdaq surged up by 1.2 percent and the S&P 500 climbed by 0.5 percent.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Monday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index fell by 0.6 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose by 0.5 percent.

The major European markets have also turned…

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