US Investors await central bank action (ext.CNN)

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Investors were unwilling to make any big bets Monday, waiting to see if there will be further stimulus announced by U.S. and European central bankers later this week.
“The market is wading through a fog, and until there’s some clarity, we’re going to see the markets bounce around,” said Rex Macey, chief investment officer at Wilmington Trust Investment Advisers.
All three indexes ended the day slightly lower. The Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500 were both nearly flat, while the Nasdaq shaved off 12 points, or 0.4%.
Expectations are high for the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank to announce new measures to boost the economy when they meet later this week.
“Investors are really looking to see if there’s any action behind all of the desperate rhetoric,” said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Harris Private Bank.
Once the Fed wraps up, the ECB will take center stage, with its meeting in Frankfurt on Thursday. Last week, ECB president Mario Draghi said the central bank would do “whatever it takes” to preserve the euro. Investors now want to see if he’ll put those words into action.
Macey said that more stimulus measures would give markets a short-term boost, but the impact wouldn’t necessarily be a lasting one.
And Ablin noted: “The markets will react later this week if actions don’t keep pace with what we’ve heard.”
While the central bank meetings will be at the forefront, investors will also be digesting earnings results that have come out over the past couple of weeks and those due in the week ahead.
Nearly 60% of the companies in the S&P 500 have already reported, and results have been lackluster. Excluding the financials sector, second-quarter earnings are expected to decline 0.4%, according to Thompson Reuters, marking the end to a ten-quarter winning streak.
The dollar rose against the euro and the British pound, but fell versus the Japanese yen.
Oil for September delivery lost 49 cents to $ 89.64 a barrel.
Gold futures for August delivery gained $ 1.70 to $ 1,619.70 an ounce.

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