NEW YORK — U.S. and global stocks were moving lower Monday, as investors waited to see what the Federal Reserve would do with interest rates later this week and awaited the fate of Britain’s membership in the European Union.
LinkedIn shares jumped after Microsoft announced plans to buy the company.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average lost 55 points, or 0.3 percent, to 17,810 as of 12:35 p.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell seven points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,089 and the Nasdaq composite fell 29 points, or 0.6 percent, to 4,866.
THE FED: The U.S. Federal Reserve had been expected to start raising interest rates, but now appears likely to remain in a wait-and-see mode. The policy board holds meetings later this week, and investors are closely watching for comments by Chair Janet Yellen.
While last month there was a large group of investors betting that the Fed would raise interest rates, the last two monthly jobs reports in the U.S. have put a damper on expectations.
LINKED UP: Shares of professional social networking site LinkedIn soared $61.36, or 47 percent, to $192.74 after Microsoft announced it was purchasing the company for $26.2 billion in cash. Shares of Microsoft fell $1.41, or 3 percent, to $50.06 after the deal was announced.
Twitter shares jumped as well, up 92 cents, or 7 percent, to $14.95 on speculation that LinkedIn’s buyout could mean better buyout prospects for that social media service.
BLUE CHIPS: Security software company Symantec jumped $1.14, or 7 percent, to $18.43 after the company said it would purchase another security company, Blue Coat, for $4.6 billion. Blue Coat had plans to go public later this year.
BRITISH REFERENDUM: Stocks in Europe remain under pressure on investor concerns over whether Britain will choose to remain in the European Union in a June 23 referendum. Recent polls have shown the race is tight, with some polls showing a majority of British voters are in favor of exiting the EU, a development nicknamed “Brexit.”
“This week’s Fed meeting feels like a bit of a sideshow, given the focus on Brexit and the market’s appropriate belief that the Fed is unlikely to (raise) ahead of such an ... event,” said John Briggs, head of strategy for the Americans at RBS, in a note to investors.
Germany’s DAX closed down 1.8 percent, France’s CAC-40 fell 1.9 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 fell 1.2 percent.
ENERGY: U.S. crude fell 25 cents to $48.80 a barrel, having falling $1.49 to $49.07 a barrel in New York late Friday. Brent crude, the benchmark for international oil prices, fell 28 cents to $50.26 a barrel in London. Oil prices had reached 11-month highs in the last few days.