Stocks Fluctuated in the Early Trading

U.S. stocks gave up opening gains and turned negative in the early trading on Wednesday, as investors digested a number of economic releases that pointed to slow but positive growth in manufacturing sector in Europe and Asia. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately fell 36.61 points, or 0.22%, to 16,293.86. The S&P 500 shed 3.58 points, or 0.18%, to 1,939.16. The Nasdaq Composite was down 11.86 points, or 0.25%, to 4,744.87.

The Eurozone continues to show signs of recovery despite a slowdown in private sector activity this month, according to a key survey. The purchasing managers’ index showed that activity levels slipped a little in September, in line with forecasts, but order backlogs pointed to further growth ahead.

A preliminary measure of Chinese factory output in September was the lowest since the financial crisis. The preliminary Caixin China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index, a gauge of nationwide manufacturing activity, fell to 47.0 in September, compared with a final reading of 47.3 in August, Caixin Media Co. and research firm Markit said Wednesday.

Applications for U.S. home mortgages rose last week as both purchase and refinancing applications climbed, an industry group said on Wednesday.

Boeing Co has signed deals to sell 300 aircraft to three Chinese firms and set up an aircraft plant in China, becoming the first U.S. firm to clinch a business tie-up in the country since Chinese president Xi Jinping began a U.S. state visit, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Brent crude oil rose toward $50 a barrel on Wednesday as a drawdown in U.S. crude oil stocks outweighed the negative impact of weak economic manufacturing data from China. Benchmark Brent was up 55 cents a barrel at $49.63 by 0920 GMT. U.S. light crude was up 50 cents at $46.86.

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