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Stocks end day with small gains

A pedestrian walks past the New York Stock

A pedestrian walks past the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street on Aug. 8, 2011. Photo Credit: AP / Jin Lee

Stocks ended the day with small gains Monday as investors weigh mixed news on the U.S. economy. Indexes slipped at the start of trading with apparently gloomy news on manufacturing, but gained traction after a report on housing data.

At the close on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 67.8 points, about 0.4 percent, at 17,545.2. The Standard & Poor's 500 index added nearly 11 points, about 0.5 percent, to 2,102.44. The Nasdaq composite gained 43.5 points, nearly 1 percent, to nearly 5,091.7.

CRUDE ENERGY. As markets closed, the price of benchmark U.S. crude oil was down 71 cents at $42.40 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

MANUFACTURING SLUMP. Manufacturing in the New York region slumped at the fastest pace since the depths of the last recession, a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York showed Monday. The central bank branch's so-called Empire State index plunged to minus 14.9 in August, the lowest level since April 2009, from 3.9 the prior month. Readings less than zero signal contraction.

HOME BUILDERS. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Monday rose this month to 61, the highest level since November 2005. The reading was 60 in both June and July. Any reading above 50 indicates more builders view sales conditions as good, rather than poor.

"There was an inclination to sell after the Empire manufacturing number and then the housing data helped sweetened up the dessert and the market turned on us," said Michael Antonelli, an institutional equity sales trader and managing director at Robert W. Baird & Co. in Milwaukee. "It's a quiet Monday and the market is fairly easy to move around right now."

Reports from The Associated Press and Bloomberg News were used in this story.


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