Stocks edge lower after weak manufacturing report

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 3, 2012 at 3:19 pm •  Published: December 3, 2012
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Stocks have fluctuated since the Nov. 6 election as investors worried that a deal may not be reached in time to avoid the tax hikes and spending cuts, which economists say could push the U.S. back into recession. The S&P 500 is still 1.3 percent below its closing level on the day that Americans went to the polls, having fallen as much as 5 percent in the weeks following the election.

Wall Street opened higher Monday following news that manufacturing in China, the world's second-largest economy, grew for the first time in 13 months and after Greece announced details of a bond buyback program. The Dow had been up as much as 62 points shortly after the opening bell.

December is historically the best month for stocks. The S&P 500 has advanced an average of 2 percent over the past 30 years during the month of December, according to research from Schaeffer's Investment Research. The next best month is April, with an average return of 1.7 percent. The worst month is September, where investors lose an average of 0.7 percent.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose 1 basis point to 1.62 percent.

Other stocks making big moves:

—Dell rose 42 cents, or 4.4 percent, to $10.06 after Goldman Sachs raised its rating to "Buy" from "Sell." Goldman cited Dell's healthy cash balance and said a recent decline in the stock may have been overdone. Dell has slumped this year as consumers migrated away from desktop PCs and laptops to portable devices such as tablets and phones.

— Health Management Associates fell 45 cents, or 5.7 percent, to $7.50 after the CBS news program "60 Minutes" broadcast a segment critical of the company's patient admission policies. The program included interviews with former employees who said HMA pressured its emergency room doctors to admit patients.

—Supervalu jumped 30 cents, or 12.6 percent, to $2.68 following a report that private equity firm Cerberus is considering multiple options for buying parts of the struggling grocery store chain.



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