Stocks Move up Ahead of Fed Meeting

U.S. stock index futures were higher on Monday as investors look ahead to a crucial Federal Reserve meeting this week.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 21 points, or 0.1%, to 26,149.

Futures for the S&P 500 took on three points, or 0.1%, at 2,897.75.

NASDAQ futures added 18.25 points, or 0.2%, to 7,523

Investors will be looking ahead to Empire State manufacturing data this morning, with the National Association of Home Builders housing index due later on.

The Fed is scheduled to start a two-day monetary policy meeting on Tuesday. Expectations for any policy changes are low, but investors will look for clues about potential rate cuts in July and later in 2019.

Investors are betting on the Fed cutting rates in July and September as well as December. The market has been clamoring for lower rates amid indications of potentially slower economic growth. In theory, lower rates would boost economic growth.

The Fed will make its monetary-policy announcement on Wednesday.

Overseas, the Nikkei 225 gained seven points Monday, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index heightened 0.4%

Oil prices fell 55 cents to $51.96 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices slid $4.70 to $1,339.80 U.S. an ounce.