Stocks edge up ahead of Fed interest-rate decision

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Fed at the top of investors' watch list

MacroMavens President Stephanie Pomboy on the outlook for Federal Reserve policy.

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.

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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.

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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.

TickerSecurityLastChange%Chg
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES26935.07-159.72-0.59%
SP500S&P 5002992.07-14.72-0.49%
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX8117.674437-65.20-0.80%

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.

TickerSecurityLastChange%Chg
MARMARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL INC.126.97-2.58-1.99%
BABOEING COMPANY379.39-5.05-1.31%
CXOCONCHO RESOURCES INC.73.23+0.55+0.76%
NOVNATIONAL OILWELL VARCO INC.22.56-0.33-1.44%

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.

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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.