NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks ended flat on Monday as increased expectations of stimulus from central banks around the world were offset by losses in technology and healthcare shares.
Investors also appeared to pull back from buying after the market posted solid increases last week, strategists said. Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) was the day’s biggest drag on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq.
The S&P 500 financial index .SPSY was among the day’s best-performing groups, rising 1.5%, with banks .SPXBK gaining 3.2% and U.S. Treasury yields up on rising bets of an interest rate cut at the U.S. Federal Reserve’s September meeting.
Cementing those expectations, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said late last week the central bank would “act as appropriate” to sustain economic expansion, a phrase that financial markets have read as a sign of an impending rate cut.
“This is kind of the eye of the storm,” as investors await more news on interest rates or trade, said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management in Chicago.
But, he said, “for the market to move significantly higher from here, we’d really need to see something happen on trade.”
Stocks rose last week largely on easing worries about U.S.-China trade negotiations.
This week, the European Central Bank is expected to introduce new stimulus measures at its meeting on Thursday.
“The market is absorbing those gains from last week, and ... is in a wait-and-see regarding the European Central Bank meeting,” said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial in Newark, New Jersey.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 38.05 points, or 0.14%,