NEW YORK: The three major U.S. stock indexes were barely higher in afternoon trading Monday, with investors cautious ahead of this week's consumer prices report and a Federal Reserve policy announcement.

The Consumer Price Index report for May is due Wednesday along with the conclusion of the Fed's two-day policy meeting.

The central bank, which will release updated economic and policy projections, is expected to hold interest rates steady. Investors will look for clues on when the U.S. central bank may begin to cut interest rates.

"This is an important week for the market in terms of comments and messaging from the Federal Reserve," said Quincy Krosby, chief global strategist, LPL Financial in Charlotte, North Carolina.

"In addition to that, you're going see Wednesday morning the CPI report. Anything related to the economy and anything related to inflation is viewed by the market through the lens of the Federal Reserve."

Traders dialed back expectations for rate cuts in September after Friday's stronger-than-expected jobs data for May, with the odds of a reduction at 50%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 31.15 points, or 0.08%, to 38,830.14, the S&P 500 gained 3.17 points, or 0.06%, to 5,350.16 and the Nasdaq Composite added 1.60 points, or 0.01%, to 17,134.73.

Apple shares were down 1.9% on the first day of the iPhone maker's annual developer conference. Investors are eager for updates on how it is integrating artificial intelligence into its offerings.

Among the day's gainers, Southwest Airlines jumped 7.6% after activist investor Elliott Investment Management disclosed it has built up a $1.9 billion position in the company.

Nvidia shares were up slightly after a 10-for-one stock split that took effect after markets closed on Friday, prompting chatter about chances of its inclusion in the blue-chip Dow.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.01-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.14-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 16 new 52-week highs and 5 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 51 new highs and 163 new lows.

(Additional reporting by Lisa Pauline Mattackal and Johann M Cherian in Bengaluru; Editing by Pooja Desai and David Gregorio)