Stock prices are mixed; investors wait on the Fed as indexes hold close to record levels
NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks were mixed in early trading on Wall Street after investors pushed indexes to record levels Friday.
Investors will be watching the Federal Reserve this week for clues about what its plans to do next with its economic stimulus program. On Wednesday Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will appear before Congress and the central bank will release minutes of its most recent policy meeting. The Fed is buying $85 billion of bonds every month to keep long-term interest rates low. That has encouraged investors to put money into stocks instead of bonds.
On Monday, The Dow Jones industrial average fell 10 points, or 0.1 percent, to 15,344 as of 10:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index was little changed at 1,668.
In commodities trading, the price of crude oil fell 8 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $95.95 a barrel.
The price of gold continued to fall. The precious metal extended its streak of declines to eight days. The attraction of gold as an alternative investment has faded this year as the dollar has appreciated.
The U.S. currency is strengthening because investors believe the U.S. economy is in better shape than the Japanese or European economies.
The dollar's rally paused in early trading on Monday, though, and the U.S. currency fell against the euro and the yen. The dollar index also dropped, after climbing to its highest level in close to three years Friday.
In government bond trading, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.92 percent from 1.93 percent.
Among stocks making big moves Monday:
- Actavis rose $3.81, or 3 percent, to $129.20 after pharmaceutical company said it's buying Warner Chilcott. The all-stock deal, valued at $8.5 billion, would create the third-biggest specialty pharmaceutical company in the U.S.