U.S. stocks were sharply lower Monday as corporate earnings continued to underwhelm and investors stayed away from risky assets a day before the start of the Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting.
The central bank’s policymakers are expected to hold interest rates steady when they meet on Tuesday and Wednesday, but may tweak their description of the economic outlook to reflect more benign conditions that leave the path open for future rate rises.
Traders are also keeping an eye on the outcome of a Bank of Japan meeting on Thursday, with expectations that the Japanese could push deeper into negative interest rate territory.
“We are looking at a mixed to lower session today as investors assess events that could cause some gyrations,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial in New York.
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