- Manufacturing declines for third straight month - The Institute for Supply Management's factory index contracted to 49.6 last month from 49.8 in July, its lowest level since July 2009. Economists are worried that the looming fiscal cliff could deter businesses from spending in the upcoming months. "As I look at this and try to find some rays of sunshine, it's quite difficult," Bradley Holcomb, chairman of the ISM survey, told Bloomberg News on a conference call. "I would characterize this as a sobering picture of U.S. manufacturing right now without any clear signs of immediate improvement."
- Construction spending falls - Construction spending fell 0.9% in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $834 billion, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Economists had expected a 0.5% gain. Private residential construction fell 1.6%, private non-residential construction fell 0.9% and public construction spending fell 0.4%. Compared with July 2011 spending is up 9.3%.
stock market today prices
- Stock Market Today: Markets Slide as Manufacturing Shrinks
- Stock Market Today: Poor Labor and Manufacturing Data Sends the Markets South
Here are the major headlines in the stock market today.
Here's what's making headlines in the stock market today.
- Jobless claims rise again- A higher number of people filed for their first week of unemployment benefits last week, a sign that the job market is not improving as hoped. For the week ended August 18 372,000 filed for unemployment, up 4,000 from the previous week, the Department of Labor said Thursday. Economists had expected initial claims to be 368,000. As of the July jobs report, 12.8 million people were counted as unemployed and about 5.59 million people received some kind of state or federal benefit in the week ended Aug. 4. "Jobless claims continue to indicate ... a sluggish labor market," Peter Cardillo, an economist at Rockwell Global Capital in New York told Reuters. "The numbers also strengthen the hand of the Fed to aid the economy with more stimulus."
- Global manufacturing slumps- The flash manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index for the U.S. edged slightly higher to a 51.9 reading in August from 51.4 in July, according to Markit. The August reading marked the first monthly increase in five months, but it was the third weakest result since the manufacturing sector stopped shrinking in October 2009. New export orders continue to be below the 50 mark, indicating contraction, but output and new orders rose. Also causing concerns is the HSBC Flash China manufacturing PMI which fell to 47.8 for August, its lowest level since November and well down from July's final figure of 49.3.