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Stocks Little Changed Ahead of Fed Meeting

Stocks began the week flat as investors prepared for a busy week that includes a Federal Reserve meeting and a number of key earnings from industry heavyweights.

The S&P 500 was down 0.04%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.04%, and the Nasdaq declined 0.04%.

The Fed will convene for a two-day meeting on Tuesday with an announcement on interest rates due for Wednesday afternoon. While few expect the Fed to hike rates in the coming week, the key question is whether December is now off the table.

"Given the recent renewed weakness in domestic employment, as well as nonexistent inflation, the hope of raising rates by the end of the year is likely to remain just that -- wishful thinking," said Lindsey Piegza, chief economist at Stifel Fixed Income.

A number of heavy-hitters report earnings in the coming week, including major oilers Exxon Mobil (XOM - Get Report) and Chevron (CVX - Get Report) , cable and telecoms Comcast (CMCSA - Get Report) and T-Mobile (TMUS - Get Report) , and tech giants Apple (AAPL - Get Report) and Twitter (TWTR) .

Auto stocks took focus after General Motors (GM) reached a tentative deal with the United Auto Workers union to avoid a strike. Local union leaders will vote on the four-year contract on Wednesday. The agreement covers 52,600 U.S. auto workers at 62 of the automaker's facilities.

Tesla (TSLA) climbed nearly 1%...