Stocks edge lower after weak manufacturing report
Stocks edged lower on Wall Street Monday after a surprisingly weak manufacturing report heightened concern that fiscal deadlock in Washington is hurting the economy.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 59.98 points to close at 12,965.60. The Standard and Poor's 500 dropped 6.72 points to 1,409.46. The Nasdaq composite was down 8.04 points to 3,002.20.
U.S. manufacturing declined in November to its weakest level since July 2009, the Institute for Supply Management reported. The ISM's index fell to 49.5 from 51.7 a month earlier, below the 51.2 reading forecast by analysts. Any number below 50 on the scale means that manufacturing is contracting. Businesses expressed concerns about the “fiscal cliff,” a series of sharp government spending cuts and tax increases scheduled to start Jan. 1 unless an agreement is reached to cut the budget deficit.
“The ISM numbers probably took a little air out of what was some hope for better news on where the economy is going,” said Jim Dunigan, executive vice president at PNC Wealth Management in Philadelphia.
The White House and Congress are still seeking to hammer out a budget deal that will avoid the “cliff.” Republicans, led by House Speaker John Boehner, have balked at President Obama's opening proposal of $1.6 trillion in higher taxes over a decade, a possible extension of the temporary Social Security payroll tax cut and heightened presidential power to raise the national debt limit.
“There's a sense of insecurity until the president and Boehner get their act together,” said Ben Schwarz, chief market strategist at New York-based brokerage Lightspeed Financial. “If they put together a package in short order, if they do it in the next couple of weeks, you'll see a strong rally.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Overseas data, financial shares lead stocks to strong December start
- Express Scripts to offer alternative to $750 toxoplasmosis medication
- North Side toymaker Digital Dream Labs starts strong in 1st holiday season
- Drug maker focused on profit for hepatitis C pill, not patients, Senate investigators say
- Royal Dutch Shell to close Franklin Park office in 2016
- Automakers feast on deals in November
- Manufacturing loses momentum as construction spending, auto sales stay strong
- Coal industry’s decline chokes Central Appalachian towns
- W.V. entrepreneurs offer hope as coal fades as economic engine
- Small stores take big gamble by not upgrading credit card readers
- Cyber Monday increasingly a ‘blah-iday’ as deals rolled out earlier, longer