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US Markets Are Cautious before Central Bank Meetings

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US markets

Last week, the S&P 500 closed higher and clocked the fourth consecutive weekly gain. However, the S&P 500 started this week on a weaker note by closing lower on Monday. On July 30, seven out of 11 major S&P 500 sectors closed the day lower. Weakness in the IT and industrials sectors weighed on the market. However, strength in the telecom services and energy sectors limited the market losses.

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Market sentiment

Decreased concerns about the US-European Union trade policy boosted the US market sentiment last week and lifted the S&P 500 Index. However, the market pulled back at the end of last week amid the sell-off in the IT sector. Weakness in tech stocks caused the market to open weak on Monday. Increased caution in the market ahead of Japan, the United Kingdom, and the US central bank meetings this week also weighed on the S&P 500 Index on Monday. On the economic data front, according to the National Association of Realtors, the US pending home sales grew 0.9% in June.

The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) fell 0.52% and closed the day at $279.95.

Volatility

The CBOE Volatility Index (or VIX) measures uncertainty in the market. The index rose 9.44% to 14.26 on July 30. The index is measured on a scale of one to 100 with 20 as the historical average. The VIX is also called the “fear index.” Usually, the index has an inverse relationship with stocks and rises when the S&P 500 falls.

NASDAQ and Dow

After closing lower last week, the NASDAQ Composite Index (QQQ) opened lower on Monday and declined to three-week low price levels. The extended sell-off in the IT sector weighed on the tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite Index. On July 30, the NASDAQ Composite Index fell 1.39% and closed the day at 7,630.00. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) declined on Monday due to profit-booking ahead of central bank meetings. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.57% to 25,306.83.

Next, we’ll discuss the S&P 500’s top losses on July 30.

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