U.S. Stocks Trim Loss on Consumer Confidence, Manufacturing Data

U.S. stocks pared losses after data on consumer confidence and manufacturing topped forecasts, easing concern about the economy as $85 billion in federal budget cuts were set to begin.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was down 0.3 percent at 1,510.01 at 10:13 a.m. in New York after dropping as much as 0.9 percent.

The Reuters/University of Michigan index of consumer sentiment increased to 77.6 in February, topping the median estimate for a reading of 76.3.

The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index rose to 54.2 in February from 53.1 a month earlier, the Tempe, Arizona- based group said today.

Economists projected the gauge would ease to 52.5, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey. A reading greater than 50 signals expansion. Estimates from the 81 economists surveyed ranged from 50.5 to 54. The gauge averaged 51.7 in 2012 and 55.2 in 2011.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael P. Regan at mregan12@bloomberg.net

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