December 2nd , 2013 12:06 pm Leave a comment

Stocks mixed in morning trading

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NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks were mixed in early trading as investors weighed encouraging news about the economy against weaker holiday shopping sales.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 30 points, or 0.2 percent, to 16,055. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was little changed at 1,806. The Nasdaq composite was also little changed at 4,060.

After dropping at the open, stocks reduced their losses after the government reported that developers boosted construction spending in October at the fastest pace in more than four years. A separate survey showed that manufacturing activity rose at its fastest pace in 2 ½ years.

The stock market has surged 27 percent this year as the economy maintains a slow but steady recovery and corporations keep growing their earnings. Demand for stocks also has been bolstered by Federal Reserve policies that have held down interest rates, making bonds less attractive investments than stocks.

Retail stocks fell Monday after a disappointing kickoff to the holiday shopping season for stores.

Shoppers spent less over the Thanksgiving weekend than they did last year, even though they turned out in record numbers. It would be the first decline in Thanksgiving weekend spending since a retail trade group began tracking it in 2006.

Urban Outfitters fell 91 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $38.16. Coach fell $1.22, or 2 percent, $56.68.

In government bond trading, the yield on the 10-year note climbed to 2.79 percent, from 2.75 percent.

Among the biggest decliners on Monday were power and phone companies. Investors typically buy those stocks because the pay big dividends, providing an income. But when interest rates climb investors sell them because that income is less attractive in comparison to higher bond yields.

In commodities trading, the price of oil rose 60 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $93.33 a barrel. Gold fell $14.80, or 1.2 percent, to $1,235.60 an ounce.

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