US stocks waver narrowly amid data

New York, Nov 24 (IANS) US stocks traded mildly higher as Wall Street digested a batch of economic reports.

By Monday noon, the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 0.07 point, or less than 0.01 percent, to 17,823.88, Xinhua reported.

The S&P 500 rose 4.02 points, or 0.19 percent, to 2,093.19. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 13.29 points, or 0.26 percent, to 5,118.20.

US existing-home sales in October were at a healthy pace but failed to keep up with September’s jump, the National Association of Realtors said on Monday.

Total existing-home sales fell 3.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.36 million in October, down from 5.55 million in September. Despite last month’s decline, sales are still 3.9 percent above a year ago.

The seasonally adjusted Markit Flash US Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) came in at 52.6, down from 54.1 in October. The figure pointed to the slowest improvement in overall business conditions since October 2013.

Meanwhile, Wall Street continued to weigh the likelihood of a December rate hike by the US central bank. Expectation mounted of a rate hike in December after the release of the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s October meeting.

During the weekend, San Francisco Fed President John Williams said there is a strong case for the Fed to begin raising short-term interest rates.

On Friday, US stocks ticked up as investors digested several Fed officials’ remarks on the timing of the interest rate rise.

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