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As earnings season winds down, this week has fewer economic reports in the pipeline and the stock market today is slightly weighed.
The Dow is down 0.26% at 15,620 points; the Nasdaq is up 0.07% at 3,692; and the S&P 500 is down 0.10% at 1,708.
In major stock market news today, investors are still awaiting clarity on two major political issues: the Obama administration's next choice for Federal Reserve chief after Ben Bernanke departs and the timing of the tapering of the Fed's $85 billion-per-month bond-buying program.
In addition, the controversial proposals from Michael Dell and Carl Icahn in their bids for Dell Inc. (Nasdaq: DELL) continue to make headlines after a shareholder meeting to vote on them last week was postponed yet again. Both sides have been upping their bids for the technology giant.
Economic Indicators in the Stock Market Today
Amid movement in the stock market today, the ISM nonmanufacturing index for July, which came out at 10 a.m., offered some positive news.
This index is a result of a survey of purchasing managers and gauges the activity in the U.S. service sector. Economists expected the index to rise to about 53.1% from 52.2%, but the index actually rose to 56% in July from a month prior. In response, the stock market today trimmed losses.
Tomorrow, we'll see the ICSC-Goldman Store Sales, which offer a look at comparable store sales at major retailers. It's published by the International Council of Shopping Centers.
On Wednesday, the Mortgage Bankers' Association will release its purchase applications index, which measures applications at mortgage lenders and serves as a gauge for housing demand. Gallup will also release its U.S. Job Creation Index, which gauges whether companies are hiring or firing.
On Thursday, investors will see the finalized jobless claims numbers and on Friday wholesale trade numbers will be released.
In the stock market today so far, the dollar has pared pre-market losses against major currencies like the British pound and the Japanese yen, in the wake of the ISM report indicating the service sector is heating up.