Stocks have modestly mostly lower over the course of the trading day on Monday after failing to sustain an initial move to the upside. The major averages have pulled back well off their early highs and into negative territory.
The downturn by stocks was partly due to the release of a report from the Institute for Supply Management showing an unexpected contraction in U.S. manufacturing activity in the month of November.
The ISM said its purchasing managers index fell to 49.5 in November from 51.7 in October, with a reading below 50 indicating a contraction in manufacturing activity. The drop pulled the index down to its lowest level in over three years.
Chemical stocks have come under considerable selling pressure over the course of the session, dragging the Dow Jones Chemicals Index down by 1/5 percent. FMC Corp. (FMC) and Dow Chemical (DOW) are turning in two of the sector's worst performances.
Significant weakness is also visible among trucking stocks, as reflected by the 1.4 percent loss being posted by the Dow Jones Trucking Index.
Gold, railroad, and defense stocks are also posting notable losses, while electronic storage stocks are seeing continued strength on the day.
The major averages have climbed off their lows for the session in recent trading but remain in the red. The Dow is down 39.94 points or 0.3 percent at 12,985.64, the Nasdaq is down 3.13 points or 0.1 percent at 3,007.11 and the S&P 500 is down 4.03 points or 0.3 percent at 1,412.15.
by RTT Staff Writer
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