Stocks crept lower Monday as Wall Street steadied itself after last week's losses and waited for the Federal Reserve's meeting on interest rates. Fears that second-quarter earnings could disappoint also weighed on the market.

The Fed's Open Market Committee is widely expected to raise rates for the ninth time in a year when it meets Wednesday and Thursday, but investors are waiting to see policymakers' assessment of the economy, to be issued at the end of the meeting.

Wall Street looked past still-climbing oil prices. A barrel of crude oil rose as high as $60.95 before closing at $60.54 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 7.06, or 0.1 percent, to 10,290.78, after dropping 290 points Thursday and Friday combined. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index slipped 0.88, or 0.1 percent, to 1190.69, and the Nasdaq composite index declined 8.07, or 0.4 percent, to 2045.20.


International Paper fell $1.02, to $31.43, after the company said second-quarter earnings would miss estimates because of weaker paper and packaging sales.

Cardinal Health dropped $4.08, to $56.43, after the company said investments in research and development and infrastructure would push 2006 earnings well below estimates.

Nike declined $3.58, to $85.77, after the athletic apparel maker reported that earnings rose at a lower rate in the fourth quarter than the previous three quarters. The company also did not offer a 2006 earnings outlook.

TiVo rose 18 cents, to $6.98, on news that Vice Chairman Thomas S. Rogers will replace Michael Ramsay as the company's president and chief executive, beginning July 1.

Walgreen rose $1.47, to $45.85, after the nation's largest drugstore chain posted a 20 percent increase in third-quarter profit.

Morgan Stanley fell 7 cents, to $53.05, as media reports said former top executive John Mack was close to returning to the beleaguered Wall Street firm as its new chief executive.


New York Stock Exchange composite index rose 1.26, to 7210.32.

American Stock Exchange index rose 3.79, to 1535.31.

Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks fell 2.10, to 628.31.


NYSE: 1.75 billion shares, down from 2.49 billion on Friday. Decliners narrowly outnumbered advancers.

Nasdaq: 1.48 billion shares, down from 2.27 billion. Decliners outnumbered advancers 7 to 5.


Crude oil for August delivery: $60.54, up 70 cents.

Gold for current delivery: $440.30 a troy ounce, down from $440.50 on Friday.