* Dollar under pressure at five-week low ahead of Federal
* European shares boosted by M&A activity
* Nikkei plumbs four-week lows, other Asian markets also
* Data, Fed, ECB, Bank of England meetings pose hurdles this
NEW YORK, July 29 U.S. stocks fell and the U.S.
dollar languished near a five-week low on Monday ahead of a
two-day Federal Reserve meeting where the U.S. central bank is
expected to reaffirm its commitment to keep benchmark interest
Stock sentiment reflected a fall in contracts to purchase
previously owned U.S. homes in June, retreating from a more than
six-year high touched the prior month, suggesting rising
mortgage rates were starting to dampen home sales.
"The focus right now is the Fed meeting and then the
employment numbers at the end of the week," said Peter
Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at OakBrook Investments
LLC in Lisle, Illinois.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 35.44
points, or 0.23 percent, at 15,523.39. The Standard & Poor's 500
Index was down 3.81 points, or 0.23 percent, at
1,687.84. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 1.87
points, or 0.05 percent, at 3,611.30.
Jankovskis said investors will try to decipher what the Fed
knows about the U.S. jobs report a couple of days in advance,
which could make Wednesday "even more volatile than it usually
is" on Fed statement days.
On Friday, the U.S. payrolls report will be released, with
forecasts for 185,000 jobs being added in July and a dip in the
jobless rate to 7.5 percent. A strong report would
support the case for the Fed to start rolling back its stimulus
in September and help the dollar.
The dollar was down 0.2 percent against the yen at
98.06 yen while the dollar index was last up 0.16 percent
after earlier touching a five week low of 81.785.
Benchmark 10-year notes slipped 4/32 in price,
their yields edging up to 2.58 percent from 2.57 percent late on
Friday. Ten-year yields have ranged from around 2.43 percent to
2.63 percent in the last two weeks, after hitting two-year highs
of 2.76 percent on July 8.