Wall Street Dips as Traders Await Fed, Key Data


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The markets stumbled on Monday as traders awaited several important economic releases and a Federal Reserve meeting later in the week.

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Today's Markets

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 36.9 points, or 0.24%, to 15522, the S&P 500 dipped 6.3 points, or 0.37%, to 1685 and the Nasdaq Composite slumped 14 points, or 0.39%, to 3599.

It's merger Monday.

Hudson's Bay said it will buy Saks (NYSE:SKS) for $16 a share in a deal valued at $2.9 billion, including debt. The move will bring iconic brands like Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor and The Bay under one corporate roof. Generic drugmaker Perrigo (NYSE:PRGO) revealed plans to buy Ireland's Elan (NYSE:ELN) for $8.6 billion. Meanwhile, Omnicom (NYSE:OMC) and Publicis said they would merge, creating a titan in the advertising industry.

It's set to be a busy week. The first reading of U.S. gross domestic product is due out on Wednesday, then the all-important monthly jobs report is due out on Friday. Both pieces of data provide information on how the world's biggest economy is faring. There is also a two-day Federal Reserve policy-setting meeting on tap.

Meanwhile, the National Association of Realtors reports signed contracts to buy previously-owned homes fell 0.4% in June, a shallower decline than the 1% analysts expected. The leading indicator was up 10.9% from the same month in 2012.

Commodity markets were mildly higher. The benchmark U.S. crude oil contract rose 16 cents, or 0.15%, to $104.86 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline gained 0.38% to $3.056 a gallon. In metals, gold jumped $14.50, or 1.1%, to $1,336 a troy ounce.

Foreign Markets

The Euro Stoxx 50 rose 0.24% to 2748, the English FTSE 100 dipped 0.5% to 6555 and the German DAX slumped 0.65% to 8245.

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 plummeted 2.3% to 13810 and the Chinese Hang Seng fell 0.58% to 21841.

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