Stocks Flat as Markets Wait on Fed
Markets closed mixed on Wall Street today: Dow +0.29%, S&P +0.02%, Nasdaq -0.16%, Oil -0.92%, Gold -0.64%.
On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) fell to $106.41 a barrel. Precious metals were also down, with Gold (NYSE:GLD) falling to $1,700.60 an ounce while Silver (NYSE:SLV) fell 1.73% to settle at $33.62.
Today’s markets were mixed because:
1) Fed. Investors adopted a wait-and-see stance today that made for rather thin trading as they looked forward to a couple key announcements from the Federal Reserve. On Tuesday, the Fed is expected to announce that it will leave key interest rates unchanged at very low levels, but investors will be looking for signs as to how the central bank plans to proceed in the coming months. Investors are also awaiting the results of the Fed’s latest bank stress tests, expectations for which caused several stocks to slide, including Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM), Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS), and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS).
2) Companies. Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) was also down because the bank said Friday it would significantly slash mortgage balances for as many as 200,000 borrowers as part of the $26 billion settlement reached between the federal government and five major mortgage servicers. Tudou (NASDAQ:TUDO) shares shot up 157 percent after it announced its merger with Youku (NYSE:YOKU). PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP) shares climbed on the news that Brian Cornell rejoined the company as CEO of PepsiCo Americas Food, and that John Compton would become president.
3) Gas. The national average price for a gallon of gas rose above $3.80 on Monday, according to a survey conducted for the motorist group AAA. Prices gained 3.4 cents a gallon over the weekend.
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