Stocks edge up ahead of Fed interest-rate decision

U.S. stocks edged modestly higher Monday as Wall Street awaited a decision this week by the Federal Reserve on whether the central bank would hold interest rates steady -- as investors hope -- or resume rate hikes.

On Wednesday the Fed's powerful rate-setting panel, known as the Federal Open Market Committee, is expected to announce an intention to not raise rates.

In addition, the British central bank is also expected this week to hold its key interest rate steady.

Shares of Marriott International, which announced it would open 1,700 hotels in the next three years, rose on the news.

Boeing shares sank on inquiries from the Transportation and Justice Departments over the certification of its Max jets.

Word that the deadline for U.S.-China trade talks may be pushed back to June raised fresh worries about prospects for a deal.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 38796.15 +18.05 +0.05%
SP500 S&P 500 5481.66 +8.43 +0.15%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 17850.691572 -6.33 -0.04%

Merger activity also helped the markets as officials of Germany's two biggest banks, Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank, discussed a combination.

Fidelity National Information Services and Worldpay agreed to merge in a $35 million deal in the growing payments sector.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
BA THE BOEING CO. 178.39 +1.12 +0.63%
CXO n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
NOV NOV INC. 18.11 +0.61 +3.49%

Oil prices rose, lifting shares of energy companies and oil services companies.

Asian equities closed higher, with Japan's Nikkei 225 adding 0.62 percent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng rising 1.37 percent and the Shanghai Composite surging 2.47 percent.


In Europe, stocks were mixed with Germany's DAX down 0.26 percent, France's CAC 40 up 0.05 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 adding 0.72 percent.