The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down nearly 3 points to 13073. The S&P 500 Index lost less than a point to 1385 and the NASDAQ was lower by 12 points to 2945.
Stocks broke a two-day rally as investors turned defensive ahead of the conclusion of the FOMC meeting on Wednesday and the ECB’s rate decision on Thursday.
Weak economic data added to the downside as the Dallas Fed manufacturing index dropped in June to its lowest level in almost a year. However, a meeting between U.S. Treasury Secretary Geithner and Germany’s Finance Minister helped ease some concerns as the leaders expressed confidence that the euro zone can overcome its ongoing sovereign debt issues.
Among sectors, telecoms led today’s gainers while financials lagged behind. AT&T added on 29 cents to $37.43 after announcing a stock repurchase program and JP Morgan fell 75 cents to $36.14 after an analyst downgrade.
Among other news, Apple bounced back from last week’s decline, gaining $10.03 to $595.50, amid reports that it may unveil new products at an event in September.
Second-quarter earnings reports will also garner attention after the close tonight with tallies due out from Anadarko Petroleum and Seagate Technology.
Overall, NYSE Composite volume totaled over 3.1 billion shares with advancers matching decliners on issues and on volume. The NASDAQ was 9-5 negative on issues and 2-1 negative on volume.
In bondland, Treasuries were higher with the 10-year note up 14/32 to yield 1.50% and the 30-year bond gained a full point to yield 2.57%.