Wall Street on hold before U.S. rate decision; oil at three-month lows

Mon Mar 13, 2017 4:27pm EDT
 
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By Lewis Krauskopf

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Major U.S. stock indexes paused on Monday as investors braced for a potential U.S. interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve later in the week, while oil prices hovered near three-month lows.

The dollar steadied against a basket of currencies .DXY after touching a two-week low.

Friday's strong U.S. employment report solidified a view among Wall Street's top banks that the Federal Reserve will boost interest rates when its policymakers meet this week.

With a rate hike widely expected, market watchers will be looking for signals about the pace of future increases.

"Other than the Fed on Wednesday, I don’t see anything going on to make any decisions on," said Paul Mendelsohn, chief investment strategist at Windham Financial Services in Charlotte, Vermont.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 21.5 points, or 0.1 percent, to 20,881.48, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 0.87 points, or 0.04 percent, to 2,373.47 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 14.06 points, or 0.24 percent, to 5,875.78.

Corporate deal-making continued as chips giant Intel INTC.O said it would acquire driverless technology firm Mobileye MBLY.N for $15.3 billion. Mobileye shares jumped 28 percent.

In Europe, Amec Foster Wheeler AMFW.L rallied 11.6 percent after oil services company Wood Group WG.L agreed to buy the company for $2.7 billion.   Continued...

 
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., March 8, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid