By Vivien Lou Chen and William Watts
U.S. stocks found their footing in the final hour of trading on Monday, after flipping between gains and losses, as investors prepared for a Federal Reserve meeting that's expected to deliver another large interest-rate hike and shed further light on the central bank's plans for monetary policy.
Last week, the Dow industrials fell 4.1% to end at 30,822.42, while the Nasdaq Composite saw a 5.5% weekly drop to 11,448.40. The S&P 500 finished Friday at 3,873.33 -- falling 0.7% in the session and 4.8% for the week for its lowest close since July 18 and ending below important chart support at 3,900.
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What drove markets
Stocks found upward momentum in the final hour of trading on Monday, shaking off last week's losses, with the market still focused on this week's two-day meeting of the Fed's policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee, which ends on Wednesday. A rate hike of three-quarters of a point is expected, and attention will be put on the accompanying dot plot of rate projections.Equities pared earlier losses and turned positive as Wall Street embraced Ralph Lauren Corp.'s (RL) outlook and found value in beaten up home builders and airlines, according to Edward Moya, senior market analyst for the Americas at Oanda Corp. Shares of Ralph Lauren finished up by 2.9% after the company outlined its strategic growth plan in a statement and said it expects to return about $2 billion in excess cash flow to shareholders through fiscal 2025 in the form of dividends and share buybacks. It is also targeting a compound annual revenue growth rate over the next three years in the mid- to high-single digits."It looks like higher-income families are still in a good position to handle the next wave of price increases," Moya said via phone. Even so, there's been "a growing amount of pessimism and diminished appetite for all risk assets," he said. "We are not going to have extreme positioning ahead of the Fed's decision, and that's why trading will be volatile" through Wednesday.See:Fed to put a 'firm foot on the brake pedal' this week
Prior to the final hour of trading, stocks were under pressure as Treasury yields continued to rise, with the policy-sensitive 2-year rate heading closer to 4%, a level that some say could send shivers throughout the financial market. The last time the 2-year yield ended the New York trading session at 4% or higher was on Oct. 16, 2007, when it closed at 4.127%. Rising yields make bonds look more attractive relative to stocks.
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The U.K. stock market was closed in observance of the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II in London, attended by heads of state including U.S. President Joe Biden.
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Companies in focus
Hear from Ray Dalio at the Best New Ideas in Money Festival Sept. 21-22 in New York. The hedge-fund pioneer has strong views on where the economy is headed.
-- Steven Goldstein contributed to this article.
-Vivien Lou Chen
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
September 19, 2022 16:28 ET (20:28 GMT)
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