Wall Street posted modest losses Monday, eroding some of last week’s gains, as investors opted to stay on the sidelines ahead of meetings from the Bank of Japan and Federal Reserve later in the week.
Oil prices also vacillated between small gains and losses.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 90 points, or 0.5%, to 17,913, as United Technologies Corp. and Chevron Corp. emerged as the biggest decliners.
Meanwhile, the S&P 500 lost 9 points, or 0.4%, to 2,083
The Nasdaq Composite lost 13 points, or 0.3%, to 4,893.
Central bank policy is likely to be a prominent theme this week. Signs of rising inflation in the U.S. might influence the Fed to adopt slightly more hawkish language in its monetary policy statement, which is expected to be released after the close of the meeting on Wednesday.
“People will be keen to see if there’s a switch in tone from the recent more dovish comments,” said Oliver Pursche, chief executive officer at Bruderman Brothers. “I would not be surprised if you saw something like ‘we’re holding off because of stuff that’s going on internationally but the U.S. economy is ready for a hike.”
The Fed—which raised interest rates in December for the first time in nearly a decade—is widely expected to leave rates unchanged. A major question for investors right now is whether the Fed is on course to raise interest rates again this year and, if so, how many times in 2016 rates are likely to go up.