Stocks close mixed amid upbeat US manufacturing activity

Associated Press

Stocks finished mixed on Monday as investors digested upbeat US manufacturing data and the first contraction in service-sector jobs in more than a decade.

The research group IHS Markit said on Monday that US manufacturing activity rose to a five-month high in September. The firm’s preliminary gauge for month’s activity rose to 51 from 50.3 in August, and the highest level since April.

The reading likely eased some fears of a recession in the US manufacturing sector. Both China and Germany have seen manufacturing and industrial output slow in recent months, spurring fears of a global slowdown.

The positive manufacturing data stood in contrast to a contraction in service sector jobs. IHS Markit said its measure for tracking employment in the service industry shrunk for the first time in a decade in September.

Investors are still watching closely for developments in the US-China trade war ahead of high-level talks scheduled for October.

Here’s a look at the major indexes as of the 4 p.m. close on Monday:

Fitbit’s stock rose as much as 7% on Monday, bringing its two-day surge to 19% after Reuters reported the company was engaging with Qatalyst partners to explore a possible sale. The bank reportedly argued Fitbit could attract interest from Google-parent Alphabet as a potential buyer.

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Shares of Overstock plunged as much as 26% after the company warned it doesn’t expect to hit its full-year earnings targets and said its chief financial officer resigned effective September 17. The company said the increased cost from tariffs on Chinese imports was hurting revenues.

Within the S&P 500, these were the largest gainers:

And the largest decliners:

Consumer staples gained more than 0.3% while technology, real estate, and consumer discretionary rose more than 0.2%. Healthcare slid 0.6% and communications services shed 0.4%.

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