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October 1, 2014

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Stocks rise, aided by strong manufacturing data

Image

Richard Drew / AP

In this Oct. 31, 2013, file photo, Trader Jeffrey Vazquez works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

NEW YORK — Stocks lost momentum heading into midday trading Friday despite an increase in U.S. manufacturing last month.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 19 points, or 0.1 percent, to 15,565 as of 11:20 a.m. Eastern. The blue chips had been up more than 90 points an hour earlier.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index was down two points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,755. The Nasdaq composite was the weakest of the three indexes, losing 10 points, or 0.3 percent, to 3,910.

The Nasdaq was hit with more technical problems. Trading was halted on the Nasdaq Options Market as of 10:36 a.m. Eastern time, according to Nasdaq OMX. Regular stock trading was not affected.

On Tuesday, Nasdaq indexes weren't updated for about 45 minutes because of a technical problem, and on Aug. 22 trading was halted on the Nasdaq Stock Market for three hours because of a separate technical problem.

The Nasdaq Options Market is one of the larger stock options markets, handling to roughly 11 percent of stock options trading in the U.S., according to the Options Clearing Corporation. A stock option gives the holder the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell a stock at a fixed price in the future.

Stocks had been moderately higher most of the morning after the Institute for Supply Management reported that its manufacturing index increased to 56.4 from 56.2 in September. That was better than the 55.1 figure economists were expecting, according financial data provider FactSet.

The improvement came during what could have been a difficult month for the U.S. economy, with a partial government shutdown that lasted 16 days and a narrowly averted default on the U.S. government's debt, which could have rattled financial markets.

The stock market had a strong October. The S&P 500 closed at a record high seven times during the month, most recently on Tuesday. It ended October with a gain of 4.5 percent.

In the bond market, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.60 percent from 2.56 percent.

Among stocks making big moves news:

— Chevron fell $2.41, or 2 percent, to $117.50. The world's second-largest publicly-traded oil company said its third-quarter income fell 6 percent, missing analysts' estimates, due to weakness in the company's refining business.

— The Container Store doubled on its first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The company raised $225 million in its initial public offering, pricing 12.5 million shares at $18 each. The stock soared $18.08 to $36.09.

— First Solar jumped $7.95, or 16 percent, to $58.36. The solar panel maker said it had an adjusted profit of $2.28 per share for the third quarter, blowing past analysts' estimates of $1.13 per share, according FactSet.

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