Economic news fails to lift stocks
NEW YORK — Encouraging news on the U.S. economy wasn’t enough to give the stock market its fourth straight day of gains.
Manufacturing grew faster in April than in March as exports picked up and factories accelerated hiring. U.S. shoppers ramped up their spending in March at the fastest pace in 4 1/2 years and construction spending also ticked higher. The reports, coming a day after the Commerce Department said U.S. growth stalled in the January-March quarter, suggest that the economy is gaining momentum after the unusually harsh winter winter.
The market remains close to its all-time highs, but for now investors, uncertain about which way the economy is headed, appear reluctant to push stocks higher.
“The data was good, but not robust enough to completely eliminate doubts over whether the first quarter was entirely weather-related,” said Anthony Valeri, an investment strategist for LPL Financial.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 0.27 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 1,883.68. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 21.97 points, or 0.1 percent, to 16,558.87.
The Dow closed at an all-time high on Wednesday. The Nasdaq composite rose 12.90 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4,127.45.
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