U.S. Stocks Ease Ahead of Factory Orders Report
07/03/2012| 09:54am US/Eastern
--Stocks mixed in abbreviated session
--Europe markets gain as hopes for central bank action increase
--Factory orders data for May on tap
By Matt Jarzemsky
NEW YORK--U.S. stocks eased at the open of an abbreviated pre-holiday session, lagging overseas markets, as investors awaited factory orders data.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged down 19 points, or 0.2%, to 12852.
The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index slipped 1 point, or less than 0.1%, to 1365 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 1.4 point, or to 2949.95.
The stock market is set to close at 1 p.m. EDT ahead of Wednesday's Independence Day holiday.
Economists expect the Commerce Department to report at 10 a.m. EDT that May orders for manufactured goods rose 0.1%, according to a Dow Jones Newswires poll. Factory orders fell 0.6% in April to the lowest level in half a year.
In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 was up 0.5%, at a two-month high, on continued hopes for policy action from the European Central Bank later this week. Adding to investor expectations, May producer prices in the euro zone slowed to the weakest rate in more than two years, falling 0.5% from April.
Write to Matt Jarzemsky at firstname.lastname@example.org