Stocks slip ahead of crucial Fed, ECB meetings

By PALLAVI GOGOI,AP Business Writer Updated at 2012-07-31 20:12:36 +0000


NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are closing lower after investors held back ahead of three critical events this week: policy meetings at both the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank and a closely watched report on jobs in the U.S.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 64 points to close at 13,009 Tuesday. The Standard & Poor's 500 edged down six points to 1,379. The Nasdaq composite lost six points to 2,940.

The Federal Reserve started its two-day policy meeting and appeared to be moving toward announcing some kind of new steps to energize the U.S. economy. But there were questions over whether it will do so this week.

Nearly three stocks fell for every two that rose on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was average at 3.7 billion shares.