NEW YORK • U.S. stocks dropped in early trading Monday ahead of this week’s potential pivotal Federal Reserve meeting. The Fed is nearing the end of its bond-buying stimulus program, and investors will be looking for indications of when policy makers will start raising interest rates.
In Europe, investors looked ahead to Scotland’s independence referendum.
KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell five points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,980 as of 9:53 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 16 points, or 0.1 percent, to 16,969. The Nasdaq composite fell 16 points, or 0.7 percent, to 4,534.
FED MEETING: The main market event this week is likely to be the Fed’s two-day policy meeting, which concludes on Wednesday. Investors will be watching for any change in their guidance about the future direction for interest rates. Analysts have warned over the past week that the Fed might raise interest rates sooner than expected as the economy improves.
M&A ON TAP: Molson Coors rose $4.75, or 6.6 percent, to $73.87. The brewer’s stock jumped amid merger news in the beer brewing industry. Family-controlled brewer Heineken said late Sunday that it has rejected a takeover bid by rival SABMiller, the world’s second-largest brewer. Reports said that SABMiller had sought to buy Heineken as a defense against an acquisition bid from Anheuser-Busch InBev, the industry leader absolutely free credit score.
SCOTLAND’S CHOICE: Another big event this week is Thursday’s independence referendum in Scotland. With opinion polls showing the vote too close to call, there’s potential for some sizeable move in U.K. markets. The pound has been extremely volatile in the last couple of weeks as the opinion polls have narrowed. On Monday the pound was 0.2 percent lower at $1.6248.
EUROPEAN STOCKS: In Europe, Germany’s DAX was up 0.1 percent at 9,663, while France’s CAC-40 declined 0.3 percent to 4,430. Britain’s FTSE 100 shed 0.1 percent to 6,801.
CURRENCIES: The dollar gained against the euro, but fell back against the Japanese yen. Against Europe’s common currency, the dollar gained 0.2 percent to $1.29 per euro. It fell 0.2 percent to 107.2 against the yen.
BONDS: In government bond trading, prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which falls when prices rise, dropped to 2.58 percent from 2.61 percent on Friday.
ENERGY: A report that showed Chinese industrial production slowed dramatically in August weighed on oil markets. Benchmark U.S. oil fell 28 cents, or 0.3 percent, a barrel at $92 per barrel. Brent crude, used to price international oils, declined 54 cents to $96.59 a barrel.