U.S. Stocks Open Lower Ahead of Fed Policy Meeting

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By Jacob Maslow

Wall Street opened lower on Monday ahead of the Fed’s policy meeting later this week. The Federal Reserve is not expected to raise rates during the two-day meeting, but investors will scrutinize the central bank’s statement to try and determine when it will finally raise rates.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen has stated that there is a possibility of a rate hike this year, but the central bank will only pull the trigger if there are clear signs that the economy is growing.

Investors are now predicting a 6% chance of rates increasing at this week’s meeting, and a 39% chance of a hike in December.

In morning trading, the Dow Jones was down 0.13% to 17,624.52. The NASDAQ composite was also down 0.3% to 5,016.95, and the S&P 500 dropped 0.35% to 2,067.85.

Seven of the S&P’s 10 major sectors were down, and the energy sector, with a 1.3% drop, led the decliners. Oil also dropped on Monday amid a global supply glut.

Pep Boys (NYSE: PBY) is up 22.7% to $14.71 after announcing it would be acquired by Bridgestone (TYO: 5108)

Valeant Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: VRX) is down 7.8% to $107.06. Ctrip.com (NASDAQ: O) jumped 21.7% to $90.50.

Piedmont Natural Gas (NYSE: PNY) jumped 35.3% to $57.13 after agreeing to be acquired by Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK).

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