U.S. Stocks Fluctuate Ahead of Policy Decisions


Stocks in the United States fluctuated on Monday as investors awaited the release of economic data and prepared for policy decisions to be made by central banks. The S&P 500 also posted its smallest weekly move since mid-summer.

Oil rebounded as energy companies reverse declines seen on Friday. Apparel, healthcare and retailers sank on signs of lower traffic on Black Friday at brick-and-mortar stores.

The S&P 500 declined 0.1% to 2,088.03 after increasing less than 0.05% last week. The S&P is set to secure its second straight monthly advance. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 5.1 points to 17,793.28. The NASDAQ Composite Index remained relatively unchanged.

Investors are looking for additional confirmation that the U.S. economy is prepared and ready to raise interest rates. However, data released today shows contract signings to purchase existing homes rose less than projected in October. That indicates that residential real estate is cooling down as we head into the wider selling season.

Other reports will be released this week, including monthly government job report on Friday and manufacturing data tomorrow.

Janet Yellen, Fed Chair, is scheduled to speak to Congress at the end of the week, and the ECB will hold its last policy meeting for 2015. It’s highly speculated that the central bank will take additional measures to boost inflation. In addition, OPEC members will meet in an attempt to discuss oil production, and the International Monetary Fund will make the decision as to whether the yuan should be granted reserve currency status.


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