Dow, S&P end flat in very light volume

Dow, S&P end flat in very light volume

New York: The Dow ended relatively flat after a choppy trading session. Investors remained cautious after 4 consecutive days of losses last week.

In economic news, a report on real estate showed builder confidence for newly built single-family homes was down for a 3rd consecutive month. The index fell to 13 in August, down 1 point, to its lowest level since March 2009. A struggling economy, cheaper foreclosed properties and a bad job market have impacted homebuilders. Any reading below 50 indicates a negative sentiment about the market. The last time the indicator was above 50 was in April 2006.

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In corporate news, Dell announced it would buy data-storage company 3PAR for $1.15 billion, which would cut its data management costs by 50%. The price Dell is offering the company is at a premium of 87% to 3PAR’s closing price on Friday. While shares of Dell ended slightly lower Monday, 3PAR’s soared almost 90% for the day.

And in world markets, China’s economy surpassed that of Japan’s, becoming the world’s second largest economy in the second quarter. While Japan’s economy was valued at $1.28 trillion, growing at 0.4% in Q2, China’s was slightly higher at $1.33 trillion. The US’s economy is roughly $14 trillion. While Japan’s Nikkei fell on the news, the Shanghai Composite rallied over 2%. The Hang Seng was also up slightly. European markets ended the day mixed.

In commodities, oil for September delivery fell $0.15 to close at $75.24 a barrel, while gold for December delivery was up $6.60 to $1,226.20.

In bonds, the yield on the 10-year note fell to a 17-month low to 2.58% on Monday, from 2.68%.