Stocks flat in quiet day on Wall Street

Traders spend some time outside the New York

Traders spend some time outside the New York Stock Exchange this past month. (July 15, 2013) (Credit: AP)

A quiet day of trading left stock indexes mixed Monday.

There was little in the way of news to shake the market out of a summertime stupor, other than a report from the Institute for Supply Management that the U.S. service sector expanded in July, helped by a rise in new orders.

It was the latest piece of data that economists and investors puzzled through as they try to judge how well the U.S. economy is doing.

Last Thursday, the ISM reported that manufacturing increased last month. The next day, the government reported that companies weren't hiring as many workers as economists had predicted.

The report out Monday wasn't enough to drive the market above its already high levels.

"I think it's flat for a reason," said Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at U.S. Bank's wealth management group. "With broad indexes near all-time highs, we're due for a pause."

The Standard & Poor's 500 index breached 1,700 points for the first time last week. An improving U.S. economy and rising corporate profits have helped push the index up 19.7 percent this year.

The S&P 500 index slipped 0.15 percent to close at 1,707.14 Monday. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 46.23 points to 15,612.13. The Nasdaq composite index rose 0.09 percent to 3,692.95.-- AP

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