U.S. Futures End 4-Week Rally Ahead of Fed Meeting

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By Jacob Maslow

U.S. stock futures opened lower on Monday, as market players play it safe while they await the Federal Reserve meeting slated for tomorrow and Wednesday.

Blue-chip Dow futures shed 12 points, or 0.07%, 6:57AM ET, the S&P 500 futures declined 3 points, or 0.13%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures dipped 3 points, or 0.07%, as investors were not feeling adventurous on Monday.

Sans any new economic data or major earnings reports, investors usually make adjustments to their portfolios based on economic assessments or policy announcements of important financials institutions like the Federal Reserve.

Analysts say no change in rates is expected at the conclusion of the meeting on Wednesday, but Federal Reserve members will be providing updated economic projections. A press conference from Federal  Reserve Chairperson Janet Yellen will follow.

In Europe, markets shrugged off weak data from China showing a major contraction in factory output. Recent figures show Chinese factory has dropped to November 2008 levels. A separate report also revealed a significant fall in Chinese retail sales, which hovered near May 2015 levels.

Industrial production from January in the Euro zone is back in positive territory again, beating expectations driven largely by increased output of capital goods, such as equipment and machinery.

Also on Monday, oil prices pulled back from 3-month peaks after Iran announced that it will not be participating in any output freeze deal until its production is back to pre-sanction levels of roughly 4 million barrels per day.

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