Stocks: Quiet day for Wall Street

@CNNMoneyInvest July 3, 2012: 8:18 AM ET
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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- U.S. stocks pointed to a flat open Tuesday, with traders not expecting much market movement in the shortened trading day.

Dow Jones industrial average (INDU), S&P 500 (SPX) and Nasdaq (COMP) futures were mixed. Stock futures indicate the possible direction of the markets when they open at 9:30 a.m. ET.

Many investment professionals are taking the week off. U.S. markets will close at 1 p.m. ET on Tuesday, and remain dark Wednesday to celebrate Independence Day.

Monday was a choppy day for investors, after several disappointing manufacturing reports. In the United States, the Institute for Supply Management said its June Purchasing Manufacturers Index fell to 49.7, down from 53.5 in May. It was the first time the index fell below 50, which signals expansion in the sector, since July 2009.

Meanwhile, manufacturing activity in the euro area continued to decline in June, while the region's unemployment rose to a record high. The Chinese government's report of manufacturing activity declined slightly, but remained above the level indicating expansion.

U.S. stocks finished mixed Monday on the unexpected contraction in the manufacturing sector.

Mark Helweg, president of financial software company MicroQuant, said all eyes will be on Friday's unemployment data. He said until then, investors should watch for a market slide, because Monday's manufacturing reports served as a sobering reminder that countries have yet to address long-term growth problems.

World markets: European stocks were higher in afternoon trading. Britain's FTSE 100 (UKX) added 0.3%, the DAX (DAX) in Germany jumped 0.7% and France's CAC 40 (CAC40) gained 0.3%.

Asian markets ended higher. The Shanghai Composite (SHCOMP) closed up 0.1%, the Hang Seng (HSI) in Hong Kong rose 1.5% and Japan's Nikkei (N225) edged higher 0.7%.

Economy: Factory orders for May are due out at 10 a.m. ET. Economists at Briefing.com forecast the number to rise to 0.5%, up from 0.4% in April. Orders fell 0.6% in April after declining 2.1% in March.

Later this week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will release the jobs report for June.

Companies: Barclays (BCS) chief executive Bob Diamond will step down from his post, the bank said Tuesday.

The news came a day after Barclays chairman Marcus Agius announced his own resignation amid the widening scandal surrounding the bank's manipulation of interbank lending rates. However, Agius was renamed chairman to lead the search for a new CEO on Tuesday. Barclays (BCS) shares were up more than 2% in premarket trading.

Automakers Ford (F, Fortune 500) and General Motors (GM, Fortune 500) will report June U.S. sales figures on Tuesday, as will Japanese-based rivals Toyota (TM) and Honda (ADR). Ford warned last week that second-quarter losses from overseas operations -- particularly in Europe -- would be bigger than expected.

After Monday's close, Microsoft (MSFT, Fortune 500) announced it would take a $6.2 billion writedown on its aQuantive acquisition. It purchased the online advertising company in 2007 for $6.3 billion in cash.

Currencies and commodities: The dollar fell against the euro and rose versus the British pound and Japanese yen.

Oil for August delivery rose $1.57 to $85.32 a barrel.

Gold futures for August delivery gained $11.30 to $1,609 an ounce.

Bonds: The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury fell, pushing the yield up to 1.60% from 1.58% late Monday.  To top of page

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,805.41 127.51 0.76%
Nasdaq 4,483.72 30.92 0.69%
S&P 500 1,964.58 13.76 0.71%
Treasuries 2.27 -0.00 -0.09%
Data as of 3:44pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Ford Motor Co 13.78 -0.62 -4.31%
Microsoft Corp 46.13 1.11 2.47%
Apple Inc 105.22 0.39 0.37%
Bank of America Corp... 16.72 0.12 0.72%
Yahoo! Inc 43.50 0.90 2.11%
Data as of Oct 24
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed3.98%3.95%
15 yr fixed3.05%3.05%
5/1 ARM3.32%3.71%
30 yr refi4.05%4.03%
15 yr refi3.12%3.11%
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