Stocks pare losses after manufacturing report

February 2, 2009 7:48:36 AM PST
A better-than-expected reading on the manufacturing sector is easing some of Wall Street's' concerns about the economy. The Institute for Supply Management says its manufacturing index rose to 35.6 in January from 32.4 in December. Economists were expecting a reading of 32.6.

Any reading below 50 indicates contraction. The index has fallen steadily since August as the economy deteriorated, hitting a 28-year low in December.

Following the manufacturing report, the Dow Jones industrials are down 40 points at 7,961. The Dow fell as much as 121 earlier in the session after the Commerce Department said personal spending fell for the sixth straight month in December.

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