Stocks end lower ahead of economic data

 \\\\\ New York

The stock market fell modestly yesterday as investors waited for a batch of big economic reports later this week.

Today, the United States government releases its look at economic growth in the spring quarter and the Federal Reserve finishes a two-day meeting. Tomorrow, a report on China’s manufacturing industry will give investors an update on the health of the world’s factory floor. But for US investors, the key news comes on Friday, when the Labour Department releases its monthly report on the jobs market.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 8.96 points, or 0.5 per cent, to close at 1,969.95; the Dow Jones industrial average fell 70.48 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 16,912.11; and the Nasdaq slipped less than 0.1 per cent to 4,442.70.

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