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Overnight Markets: US stocks end little changed ahead of Fed meeting

Lower oil prices pulled energy companies down while hotels and travel-related companies rose.

 
Overnight Markets: US stocks end little changed ahead of Fed meeting

US stocks closed little changed on Monday as lower oil prices pulled energy companies down while hotels and travel-related companies rose.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 16 points, or 0.1%, to close at 17,229. The S&P 500 lost three points, or 0.1%, ending at 2,020. The Nasdaq composite index gained two points to finish at 4,750.

Investors will be focusing on the Federal Reserve’s two-day meeting this week for clues on the trajectory of interest rates. The Bank of Japan concludes a policy review on Tuesday, while the Bank of England has a rate decision on Thursday.

Reports on retail sales, industrial production and housing starts in the US will also be assessed this week for signs of strength in the world’s biggest economy.

Gains in consumer shares, including Amazon.com Inc., Starbucks Corp. and Walt Disney Co., offset declines in energy and raw-materials companies, with commodity shares lagging Monday as crude oil fell. Banks also slipped for the first time in three sessions.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. added 7.8% after an unsolicited takeover offer from a group of companies led by China’s Anbang Insurance Group Co.

Marriott International Inc., which reaffirmed its bid to buy Starwood, added 3%. TripAdvisor Inc. climbed 4.5% amid takeover speculation circulating on Twitter.

Retailers increased for a fourth day, with GameStop Corp. adding 3%, while Dollar Tree Inc. gained 1.2% amid its lengthiest rally since 1 February.

Southwestern Energy Co. and Chesapeake Energy Corp. were among the worst performers in the S&P 500, falling more than 6.7%.

Financials reversed part of a Friday gain. Bank of America Corp. fell 1.1%, while Comerica Inc. climbed 1.4% after CLSA upgraded the company on takeover speculation.

In Asia, shares were mixed on Tuesday, tracking US equities' performance overnight, with some analysts saying traders are turning more cautious and hesitant after the recent market rally.

The Nikkei 225 was flat in early trade, wavering between positive and negative territories. In South Korea, the Kospi added 0.17%. The Australian S&P/ASX 200 index was lower by 0.49%.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index was down 0.59%, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.49%.

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