Stocks Opened Lower ahead of Fed Decision

U.S. stocks opened lower on Tuesday as investors awaited monetary policy signals from the Federal Reserve later this week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately fell 55.73 points, or 0.21%, to 26,080.06. The S&P 500 retreated 13.33 points, or 0.46%, to 2,910.32. The Nasdaq Composite skidded 30.77 points, or 0.38%, to 7,972.05.

The release of the Federal Reserve’s July meeting minutes Wednesday and public remarks from Fed Chair Jerome Powell Friday remain the focal points of this week. Ahead of the events, market expectations tilted heavily in favor of a 25 basis point cut to key borrowing costs after the Fed’s September meeting.

Home Depot (HD) reported weaker-than-expected quarterly sales and lowered its top-line guidance for the full year.  Second-quarter net income fell slightly to $3.48 billion, or $3.17 a share, as sales rose 1.2% to $30.84 billion and comparable-store sales rose 3%. It now says annual sales will rise 2.3% and comparable-store sales will rise 4%.

Kohl’s (KSS) reported fiscal second-quarter earnings that beat consensus expectations, but sales came up short. Comparable same-store sales – a closely watched metric in retail reports – contracted 2.9% during the quarter, versus a decrease of 2.4% expected.

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