Stocks little changed ahead of mid-week Fed meeting

|By:, SA News Editor

Stocks ended mixed in lackluster trading, as investors hesitated to jump in after a batch of inconclusive earnings reports and ahead of the Fed's policy meeting later this week.

Most of the earnings action was centered in the health care sector, where Merck fell 2.5% after beating on the bottom line but falling short on revenue estimates, and Biogen rose following a solid report; Bristol Myers also was strong after announcing positive clinical trial data.

So far, half of S&P 500 companies have reported quarterly results, with 69% beating earnings expectations and 54% beating on revenues; if all remaining companies post earnings in line with estimates, earnings will rise 3.4% from last year's Q3.

Treasury prices eased despite a two-year-note auction that drew the highest demand in a year.