Dow industrials edge higher as S&P 500, Nasdaq finish little changed

U.S. stocks finished virtually unchanged Monday, with even meager gains fading in the final minutes of trade, amid downbeat data out of Europe that underlined worries about global economic growth. Traders also kept an eye on U.S.-China trade talks and tensions surrounding Iran. The Dow Jones Industrial Average inched 15 points, or less than 0.1%, higher to close at 26,950. The S&P 500 index fell less than a point to 2,991, as investors sold health-care and communication services shares and bought shares of stocks considered defensive, including consumer staples, real estate and utilities. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index edged 5 points, or less than 0.1%, lower to 8,112. Wall Street saw downbeat trade on Monday as eurozone data and Germany‘s manufacturing reports in particularly, showed weakness, adding to fears about a global economic slowdown that could eventually hit the U.S. The flash eurozone manufacturing purchasing managers index fell to an 83-month low of 45.6 in September, down from 47 in August. Economists polled by FactSet had forecast a 47.3 reading – a figure of less than 50 indicates activity declined. Germany‘s PMIs, meanwhile, were their worst in about a decade.

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