After recording their best month in the Year in July, U.S. stocks turned in a sluggish performance on Monday, the first trading session of August, and ended slightly weak.
The mood in the market was quite cautious due to worries about a possible recession after data showed weakening factory activity in Asia and Europe. Data showing manufacturing activity in the U.S. rose at the weakest rate in nearly two years hurt as well.
Fairly encouraging corporate earnings updates helped limit market’s downside.
In addition to digesting the latest batch of economic data, investors looked ahead to upcoming economic reports, including the crucial non-farm payroll data, due later in the week.
The major averages all ended in negative territory despite seeing a brief spell in positive territory. The Dow ended with a loss of 46.73 points or 0.14 percent at 32,798.40, after moving between 32,640.79 and 32,972.03.
The S&P 500 ended lower by 11.66 points or 0.28 percent at 4,118.63, while the Nasdaq settled at 12,368.98, down 21.71 points or 0.18 percent from the previous close.
Shares of energy firms drifted down after oil prices tumbled amid concerns about outlook for energy demand due to global economic slowdown. Bank stocks were weak as well.
Boeing shares climbed more than 6 percent on reports that the Federal Aviation Administration had approved the jet maker to restart deliveries of its 787 Dreamliner.
Procter & Gamble surged 2.25 percent, riding on fairly strong earnings updates. Intel ended stronger by about 1.8 percent. Home Depot and IBM were among the other notable gainers.
Chevron, Caterpillar, Travelers Companies, United Health and Merck drifted lower. Microsoft, JP Morgan, J&J, Nike and Goldman Sachs also closed weak.
In economic news, the S&P Global US Manufacturing PMI was revised slightly lower to 52.2 in July of 2022 from a preliminary of 52.3, pointing to the lowest factory growth since July of 2020.
The Institute for Supply Management said the ISM Manufacturing PMI edged…
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