Stocks Slump in Afternoon Trading

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The markets slumped in afternoon trading Monday as traders mulled weak economic data and watched the latest developments on Syria.

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Today's Markets 

As of 3:43 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 30 points, or 0.16%, to 14986, the S&P 500 dipped 2.4 points, or 0.16%, to 1661 and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 6.2 points, or 0.17%, to 3664.

The markets posted a mixed performance last week, with the Dow edging lower and the S&P tilting higher. Monday was off to a quiet start, with the London Stock Exchange, Europe's biggest bourse, closed for a holiday.

The Commerce Department said orders for long-lasting goods plunged 7.3% in July from June, compared to expectations of a 4% drop. Excluding the transportation segment, orders fell 0.6%, missing expectations of a 0.5% gain. The report provides a broad view of how the economy is performing, and often impacts investment banks' forecasts. Indeed, the data prompted Barclays to slice its third-quarter U.S. GDP view to 1.9% from 2.1%.

In corporate news, Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) said it will buy Onyx Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ONXX) in a $10.4 billion deal. Meanwhile, AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) revealed it would buy a privately-held firm that makes cancer drugs for about $500 million.

Elsewhere, U.S. crude oil prices slumped 22 cents, or 0.2%, to $106.21 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline dipped 0.71%, to $2.99 a gallon. Gold slumped $2.10, or 0.15%, to $1,394 a troy ounce.

Foreign Markets

The Euro Stoxx 50 slid 0.63% to 2808 and the German DAX dipped 0.2% to 8400. The London Stock Exchange was closed for a holiday.

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 slipped 0.18% to 13636 and rose 0.65% to 22005.

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