Stock Market Today: Stocks Mixed as Investors Grow Skittish

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Investors were bracing for a big move in equities after the Federal Open Market Committee's policy statement later this week, creating skittishness in the stock market early afternoon Monday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up incrementally by 0.16% and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq were trading down 0.06% and 0.93%, respectively.

Watch the video below for a closer look at how U.S. markets are doing in midday trading Monday:


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The SPX has been consolidating around 2,000 for the past 14 sessions awaiting the announcement from the Federal Reserve's policy-making arm. But Randy Frederick, managing director of trading and derivatives at the Schwab Center for Financial Research, said that the jitters may be overblown. Even if the outcome of the meeting could open the door for potential interest rate increases to occur sooner rather than later, that isn't necessarily bearish for the market, he said.

"Historically, Fed tightening has caused temporary corrections in the form of pullbacks greater than -10%, but it has not caused an immediate end to bull markets," Frederick explained.

Wednesday's policy announcement from the Fed could indicate that an interest rate hike will take place in the near future. With the economy continuing to perform well, there is a general expectation that the FOMC might drop the "considerable time" for low interest rates phrase from its statement to prepare the markets for a move toward policy normalization next year.

The United States Oil Fund (USO) was trading up 0.44% as U.S. light sweet crude oil futures recovered a bit of ground after hugging the flat line for much of the day on demand concerns triggered by the latest round of weak data out of China, coupled with ample supplies provided by strong U.S. output. The SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up just 0.31% as Fed jitters offset the increased appeal of the yellow metal amid U.S. dollar weakness on Monday.

In company headlines, Microsoft (MSFT) was off 0.89% after announcing that it has reached a deal to buy "Minecraft" maker Mojang for $2.5 billion.

Danaher (DHR) said Monday it would buy Nobel Biocare (NBHGY) , the Swiss dental-implant maker, for about $2.2 billion, including debt. Danaher was up 0.55% and Nobel Biocare was down over 4.5%.

Cognizant (CTSH)  signed an agreement to buy health care IT provider TriZetto for $2.7 billion in cash. Cognizant said the acquisition will lead to more than $3 billion in combined health care revenue, serving nearly 245,000 health care providers. Cognizant fell 0.56%.

RadioShack (RSH) surged 13.74%. After only seven months on the job, John Feray resigned as chief financial officer at the struggling retailer, citing personal reasons. Holly Etlin, a managing director of AlixPartners and longtime RadioShack adviser, is stepping in as interim finance chief to take his place.

Alibaba is likely to raise the price range of its U.S. initial public offering because of buoyant demand for the deal, people familiar with the situation told The Wall Street Journal. Yahoo! YHOO, which has a 22% stake in the Chinese ecommerce giant and plans to sell 121.7 million shares in the upcoming IPO, was up 0.07%.

Heineken (HKHHY) , the Dutch brewer, rejected a takeover bid from rival SABMiller (SBMRY) , saying that its controlling shareholder intended to "preserve the heritage and identity of Heineken as an independent company.

-- By Andrea Tse in New York

Follow @AndreaTTse

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