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US: Stocks finish flat on mixed data


[NEW YORK] US stocks finished little changed on Monday following mixed economic data as markets paused after last week's records.

At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 17,364.96, down 25.56 points (0.15 per cent).

The broad-based S&P 500 dipped 0.47 (0.02 per cent) to 2,017.58, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 8.17 (0.18 per cent) to 4,638.91.

The Institute for Supply Management's purchasing managers index for October manufacturing rose to 59.0, with companies saying activity is picking up more than expected going into the year-end holiday shopping season.

But the Commerce Department reported Monday that US construction spending fell a second straight month in September, for a 0.4 per cent annual decline, surprising analysts who expected a pickup.

"It's not surprising (investors) are digesting a little bit after the highs" last week, said Mace Blicksilver, director of Marblehead Asset Management.