Stocks Opened Lower ahead of Fed Meeting

U.S. stocks opened lower on Tuesday, as investors remained on edge over a Federal Reserve policy meeting. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately fell 25.78 points, or 0.15%, to 17,706.70.  The S&P 500 slipped 0.73 point, or 0.04%, to 2,078.33.  The Nasdaq Composite was up 8.23 points, or 0.17%, to 4856.67.

Federal Reserve Board Chairwoman Janet Yellen will kick off the central bank’s two-day meeting on Tuesday. The Federal Reserve is expected to keep interest rates on hold for at least another month.

U.S. prices for imported goods rose in May at their fastest pace in over four years, a sign that rising oil prices are contributing to firming domestic inflation. U.S. Import prices rose 1.4% in May, the Labor Department said Tuesday, following an upwardly revised 0.7% increase in April.

U.S. shoppers increased their spending in May, a sign that consumers are undeterred by the recent slowdown in hiring. The Commerce Department said Tuesday retail sales rose a seasonally adjusted 0.5 percent last month, the second straight increase after a 1.3 percent gain in April.

The Senate is scheduled to vote Tuesday on a $602 billion defense policy bill that the White House has said President Barack Obama will veto over numerous objections, including a prohibition on shuttering the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Oil prices fell Tuesday, pushed lower for the fourth consecutive day as market sentiment continued to turn. Brent was trading down 1.4% at $49.66 a barrel midmorning in London. West Texas Intermediate was down 1.6% at $48.09 a barrel.

Industrial production rose 1.1 percent across the eurozone during April, official figures showed Tuesday, lifting growth hopes for the region after a two-month decline in output.

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