Stocks Dip After Service-Sector Data Miss Views

By MarketsFOXBusiness

FOX Business: Capitalism Lives Here

Wall Street slumped in choppy action Monday as traders mulled weaker-than-expected data on the vast U.S. services sector.

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Today's Markets

As of 10:08 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) climbed 3.3 points, or 0.02%, to 16472, the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:GSPC) declined 0.1 point, or 0.00%, to 1831 and the Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQ:IXIC) slipped 16.7 points, or 0.41%, to 4115.

Wall Street kicked off the year on a tepid note last week, with the broad S&P 500 snapping a two-week winning streak. However, activity is expected to pick up this week as traders return to work from holiday vacations.

There were two key economic reports on the calendar.

The Institute for Supply Management said the U.S. service sector grew at a pace of 53 in December from 53.9 the month prior, and slower than the 54.5 pace economists expected. Readings above 50 point to expansion, while those below indicate contraction.

The Commerce Department reported orders at U.S. factories jumped 1.8% in November, matching Wall Street’s expectations, and rebounding from a 0.9% slump the month prior.

The gauge is a lagging indicator, but it provides a look at the American manufacturing sector.

Also on the economic front, Janet Yellen's confirmation hearing will be held in the Senate. Political analysts generally expect the Federal Reserve vice chair to be cleared and take over for chairman Ben Bernanke next month. Yellen is seen as dovish, and likely to continue Bernanke's aggressive monetary policies.

In corporate news, Men's Wearhouse (NYSE:MW) made a cash tender offer to purchase rival Jos A. Bank (NYSE:JOSB) for about $1.6 billion. This represents the continuation of what has been an epic takeover back-and-forth between the two men's apparel firms.

T-Mobile US (NASDAQ:TMUS) said it would buy some Verizon Wireless spectrum for $2.4 billion.

In commodities, U.S. crude oil futures climbed 35 cents, or 0.37%, to $94.31 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline jumped 0.87% to $2.672 a gallon. Gold fell $2.60, or 0.21%, to $1,236 a troy ounce.

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