Stocks Waver in Early Trading ahead of Fed Meeting

Stocks were mixed in early trading on Tuesday, with Wall Street looking to a Federal Reserve meeting and Europe’s debt crisis. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately fell 7.64 points to 11,393.37. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was off 0.63 points to 1,203.46. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 1.95 points to 2,610.88.

In Washington, the Federal Open Market Committee on Tuesday will begin its two-day meeting. An announcement on monetary policy is due Wednesday. Officials will consider whether to take more action to stimulate the sluggish U.S. economy, as the unemployment rate remains above 9%.

The European Union and the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday raised concerns over the health of European banks as the continent’s debt crisis worsens. Seeking to prevent a potentially disastrous default next month, Greece is to hold a second round of negotiations with international creditors late Tuesday to secure a crucial installment of bailout loans.

The Commerce Department said Tuesday that builders began work on a seasonally adjusted 571,000 homes last month, a 5 percent decline from July and a three -month low. That’s less than half the 1.2 million that economists say is consistent with healthy housing markets. Single-family homes, which represent roughly two-thirds of home construction, fell 1.4 percent. Apartment building plunged 12.4 percent.

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