Stock market today: Wall Street turns to losses before the bell as focus turns to Fed meeting

Stock market today: Wall Street turns to losses before the bell as focus turns to Fed meeting

Wall Street turned toward losses early Monday ahead of the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting this week.

Futures for the S&P 500 fell 0.2% and futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.1% before the bell.

The market posted some gains last week following reports of several healthy economic indicators ahead of the Federal Reserve’s two-day meeting, which ends Wednesday. That, and a meeting of Japan’s central bank, are the biggest highlights expected for the week.

Investors are bound to focus on the Fed’s meeting. The U.S. central bank raised rates aggressively through 2022 and 2023 in an effort to tame inflation, but it kept interest rate levels at its last meeting. Inflation has generally been easing back to its target of 2%.

Traders are overwhelmingly betting that the Fed will hold interest rates steady Wednesday. They also expect the central bank could keep rates unchanged for the rest of the year. The Fed has said it remains willing to continue raising rates if it seems necessary to continue fighting inflation.

In corporate news Clorox shares slid more than 2% after it reported that a cyber attack damaged its IT infrastructure and disrupted operations. The maker of bleach and other household cleaning products said it expected to start transitioning back to automated order processing next week, but that the disruption would have a negative implications for its first-quarter financial results.

Ford, General Motors and Stellantis all fell in the premarket as the United Auto Workers strike entered its fourth day.

Elsewhere, Hong Kong’s benchmark was pulled lower by property stocks following reports over the weekend that police had detained staff at the wealth management business of troubled real estate developer China Evergrande.

The Hang Seng dropped 1.4% to 17,930.55.

On Friday, China’s national financial regulator announced it had approved the takeover of the group’s life insurance arm by a new state-owned entity.

Defaults on debts in the property sector since 2021 have resulted in half-finished apartment buildings, disgruntled homebuyers and fears the industry’s troubles might further slow the world’s second-largest economy and shake global financial markets.

Evergrande’s Hong Kong traded shares were up 1.6% after plunging early in the session. Country Garden, another developer facing huge debt obligations amid a slowdown in the industry and a crackdown on excessive borrowing, gave up early gains, falling 1.9%.

The Shanghai Composite was the only major Asian benchmark to advance, gaining 0.3% to 3,125.93.

In Seoul, the Kospi fell 1% to 2,574.72 while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.7% to 7,230.40.

In Europe at midday, Germany’s DAX lost 0.8% and the CAC 40 in Paris declined 1.2%. Britain’s FTSE 100 dipped 0.5%.

In other trading Monday, benchmark U.S. crude oil gained 44 cents to $91.21 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It added 61 cents to $90.77 a barrel on Friday.

Brent crude, the pricing standard for international trading, was up 41 cents at $94.34 a barrel.

The U.S. dollar weakened to 147.60 Japanese yen from 147.72 yen. The euro was steady at $1.0666.

On Friday, Wall Street benchmarks fell, with technology stocks the biggest drag on the market.

The S&P 500 lost 1.2% and the Dow industrials shed 0.8%. The Nasdaq composite gave back 1.6%.


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