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Wall St flat despite strong economy data

Tuesday, September 02 15:51:09

U.S. stocks were little changed today as investors digested the latest batch of solid economic reports on the heels of the best monthly performance for the S and P since February.

Financial data firm Markit said its final U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index rose to 57.9 in August from 55.8 in July, marking its highest level since April 2010. A separate report from the Institute for Supply Management on the manufacturing sector rose to 59.0, it's highest level since March 2011, from 57.1 the month before.

In addition, construction spending rebounded strongly, as it increased by 1.8 percent to an annual rate of $981.31 billion, the highest level since December 2008.

"The market is probably pricing in stronger numbers on the economic side, but it's still very much positive," said James Liu, global market strategist at JPMorgan Funds in Chicago.

"We are expecting to see stronger economic numbers, the market is certainly expecting that, and as long we get them, we can do quite well above 2,000 on the S and P 500."

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 17.44 points or 0.1 percent, to 17,081.01, the S and P 500 gained 0.07 points or 0 percent, to 2,003.44 and the Nasdaq Composite added 12.46 points or 0.27 percent, to 4,592.73.

The benchmark S and P index gained 3.8 percent in August, its best month since a 4.3 percent climb in February. However, the monthly average volume of 5.24 billion shares traded was the lowest of the year, according to data from BATS Global Markets. (Reuters)

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