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U.S. stocks end flat ahead of U.S. jobs data; Dow dips 0.05%

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Shutterstock photo - " U.S. stocks finished a lackluster Monday session largely flat as investors avoided equities ahead of the Tuesday release of the September unemployment report.

The jobs report was due for release on Oct. 4 though a government shutdown delayed publication.

At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 0.05%, the S&P 500 index rose 0.01%, while the Nasdaq Composite index rose 0.15%.

A U.S. government shutdown that began Oct. 1 and ended last week left the stock market without one of its chief steering currents, the monthly U.S. nonfarm payrolls report.

Investors largely avoided equities ahead of the release of the September jobs report on Tuesday, which many hope will provide guidance as to when the Federal Reserve will scale back stimulus measures.

The Fed is currently buying USD85 billion in Treasury holdings and mortgage debt a month to boost the economy, a monetary policy tool known as quantitative easing that drives down interest rates to spur recovery, boosting stock prices in the process.

Expectations for the Federal Reserve to hold off on tapering its quantitative easing program to offset the effects the government shut down may have had on recovery sent stock prices rising in recent sessions, though investors largely avoided stocks and jumped to the sidelines on Monday to await the jobs report.

Elsewhere, lackluster data out of the U.S. housing sector watered down share prices as well.

The National Association of Realtors reported earlier that total existing home sales declined 1.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.29 million units in September from a downwardly revised 5.39 million in August, mainly due to home prices outpacing income growth.

Analysts were expecting to see 5.30 million units sold.

Leading Dow Jones Industrial Average performers included General Electric, up 2.25%, AT&T, up 1.72%, and Verizon, up 1.14%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average's worst performers included Boeing, down 0.85%, UnitedHealth, down 0.82%, and Wal-Mart Stores, down 0.73%.

European indices, meanwhile, finished mixed.

After the close of European trade, the EURO STOXX 50 fell 0.14%, France's CAC 40 fell 0.21%, while Germany's DAX 30 rose 0.02%. Meanwhile, in the U.K. the FTSE 100 finished up 0.48%.

On Tuesday, expect the pair to trade on the U.S. jobs report. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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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.

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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