Stocks Ended Nearly Flat

The S&P 500 and the Dow ended slightly lower on Monday, but strength in semiconductors boosted the Nasdaq. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 24.28 points, or 0.14%, to 17,366.24, the S&P 500 lost 0.24 points, or 0.01%, to 2,017.81. The Nasdaq Composite added 8.17 points, or 0.18%, to 4,638.91.

U.S. manufacturing activity unexpectedly accelerated in October and automobile sales were strong, easing concerns of a significant moderation in economic growth in the fourth quarter.The Institute for Supply Management said its index of national factory activity rose to 59 last month from 56.6 in September

Insurer American International Group (AIG.N) on Monday reported better-than-expected third quarter earnings, bolstered in part by improved performance at core insurance operations. After-tax operating income jumped 23 percent. The company also declared a dividend of 12.5 cents per share as it did in the previous quarter. In addition, AIG’s board authorized a further up to $1.5 billion share buybacks, in
addition to the $3.4 billion of AIG stock the insurer has repurchased this year.

Sprint Corp, the No. 3 U.S. mobile provider, on Monday reported an increase in quarterly revenue that was slightly below analysts’ expectations. Its operating losses narrowed to $192 million, or 19 cents per share, in the third quarter, from a loss of $380 million, or 24 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago. Revenue rose to $8.5 billion from $7.7 billion in the quarter,

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