• New way for entrepreneurs

    A new kind of teaching is key to boosting small business skills, says Elli Yiannakaris.

  • My good news story

    Kindness to strangers still exists, says Mandi Smallhorne after experiencing an airport mishap.

  • Challenge for workers

    SA's new trade federation must stop the slide into an age of barbarism, says Patrick Craven.

All data is delayed
See More

US stocks fall ahead of Fed talks

Jul 31 2012 08:00

New York - US stocks closed in the red on Monday as Wall Street hoped for US Federal Reserve and European Central Bank stimulus action this week and awaited a report on the July jobs market.

After two big euro-driven rallies late last week, the major indices struggled to maintain modest gains in markets lacking a catalyst.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the session at 13,073.01, drifting down 2.65 points.

The S&P 500 slipped 0.67 point to 1,385.30 and the Nasdaq shed 12.25 to 2,945.84.

"The market focus is on squarely on the Fed's policy meeting on Wednesday and a European Central Bank meeting on Thursday," said Dick Green at Briefing.com.

"Equity market participants are hoping for central bank action that will decrease economic risk, increase liquidity, and in theory therefore boost stock prices."

The Fed's Federal Open Market Committee opens a two-day meeting Tuesday. The government reported Friday the economy slowed in the second quarter, to growth of 1.5% from 2.0% in the first quarter.

Investors also were looking ahead to the government's July jobs report on Friday, expected to show unemployment remained stuck at 8.2% from June and weak job growth.

There were no major US economic releases on the calendar.

Financials were under pressure. JPMorgan Chase led the Dow lower, tumbling 2.3%, and Bank of America and Citigroup each fell 0.6%.

Fellow Dow member Hewlett-Packard shed 1.8%.

Coca-Cola was the biggest blue-chip gainer, up 1.4%.

Engineering merger news was in focus. Energy infrastructure-focused Chicago Bridge & Iron has agreed to acquire The Shaw Group, a global services provider, in a $3bn deal. CBI shares plunged 14.2% and Shaw soared 55.5%.

Dow member AT&T edged up 0.8% after announcing late Friday it would repurchase up to 300 shares, representing about 5.0% of its outstanding shares outstanding.

Apple added 1.7%. Jury selection began in a blockbuster patent trial pitting the California technology titan against South Korea's Samsung.

Boeing dropped 0.9% after reporting an "engine issue" hit a test flight of the 787 Dreamliner in South Carolina on Saturday.

US stocks closed out last week with two days of rallies that left the Dow above 13 000 on Friday for the first time since May.

Bond prices leaped. The 10-year Treasury yield dropped to 1.50% from 1.56% on Friday, while the 30-year fell to 2.58% from 2.64%. Bond yields move inversely to prices.

wall street  |  markets



Read Fin24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Company Snapshot

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...

Voting Booth

Do you think women are under-represented in leadership positions globally?

Previous results · Suggest a vote