The New York Stock Exchange opened on a hesitant note on Monday against a backdrop of rising bond yields, while the Federal Reserve is due to begin a much-anticipated monetary policy meeting tomorrow.

In late morning trading, the Dow Jones gained nearly 0.2% to 36,310.7 points, while the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.3% to 14,363.6 points.310.7 points, while the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.3% at 14,363.6 points.

The Fed's Monetary Policy Committee (FOMC) meets on Tuesday and Wednesday: while markets are not expecting any major changes, they will be on the lookout for further details on the timetable for rate changes.

Market participants will also be keeping an eye on the FOMC's economic outlook, following a series of data confirming the healthy state of activity in the US.

'The latest jobs report shows that the labor market remains too robust for the 125 basis points or so of easing expected by the markets next year', points out Paolo Zanghieri, senior economist at Generali Investments.

But Wall Street's positive reaction to last Friday's better-than-expected job creation figure also shows that investors know how to applaud good news.

For the past six weeks, US equity markets have been buoyed by the prospect of a soft landing for the US economy, i.e. slightly positive growth combined with contained inflation and no deterioration in employment.

On the bond market, the yield on 10-year Treasuries has risen slightly, above 4.27%, in a climate of caution ahead of the Federal Reserve meeting.

The dollar continues to perform well against the euro, which is back at around 1.0745 against the greenback, penalized by the prospect of a more accommodating stance from the ECB than from the Fed.

On the energy market, the prospect of a world market in surplus due to the slowdown in global economic activity is preventing any real recovery in barrel prices.

The price of a barrel of US light crude (West Texas Intermediate, WTI) consequently fell by 0.2% to $71.1, still at its lowest level since early summer.

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