Closing Update: Markets Drift Lower, Getting Little Lift From Positive Service Sector Data; Nasdaq Composite Ekes Out Small Advance

Stocks ended mixed Monday, with the major averages retreating from all-highs despite new economic data showing the service sector grew faster last month than the markets were expecting. Stocks also were pressured somewhat by comments by a Federal Reserve District President today saying Wall Street may soon need to wean themselves from the central bank's stimulus measures. Most industry sectors finished in the red with shares of consumer staples and technology companies, lifting the Nasdaq Composite Index to a small gain.

The Institute for Supply Management ( ISM ) said its services index rose to a 56 reading for July from 52.2 during the prior month, surpassing even the high end of forecasts and the consensus view looking for a 53 score.

In remarks today in Portland, Ore., Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher said the Federal Reserve is closer to scaling back its massive bond-buying program after the unemployment rate dropped last month. "I am of the opinion that unless we see some disturbing data ... that we should start (tapering) in September," Fisher told reporters after a speech here, adding that he is not alone at the Fed in that view.

Commodities were lower. September crude oil fell 36 cents to settle at $106.56 per barrel while September natural gas fell 3 cents to $3.32 per 1 million BTU. December gold fell $8.50 to $1301.90 per ounce while September copper settled unchanged at $3.17 per pound.

Here's where the markets stood at end-of-day:


Dow Jones Industrial Index down 46.23 (-0.30%) to 15,612.13

S&P 500 down 2.53 (-0.15%) to 1,707.14

Nasdaq Composite Index up 3.36 (+0.09%) to 3,692.95


Hang Seng Index up 0.14%

Shanghai China Composite Index up 1.04%

FTSE 100 down 0.46%


(+) CGEN, Enters a cancer research partnership with Bayer AG.

(+) SPEX, Merger partner North South Holdings files a complaint in federal court against T-Mobile USA Inc. ( TMUS ), alleging patent infringement of mobile phone geolocation technology.

(+) TGX, Agrees to acquisition by Juniper Investment for $68 million or $2.20 per share.


(-) FOSL, Barclay's downgrades the stock to Underweight from Equalweight

(-) HBC, Banking giant reported a 7% decline in revenue for the first half of 2013

(-) SSP, Reported 41% decline in Q2 2013 earnings to $0.05 vs $0.08 estimates

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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