US stocks extend declines amid factory data

US stocks retreated, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index extending declines in the final hour of trading, as data showed manufacturing unexpectedly climbed last month amid reports on holiday retail sales.

The S&P 500 dropped 0.3% to 1,800.90 at 4 p.m. in New York, after earlier rising as much as 0.2%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 77.64 points, or 0.5%, to 16,008.77. About 5.8 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges today, 4.8% below the three-month average.

US benchmark indexes dropped for a second day just in the final hour. The benchmark index lost 0.5% to 1,803.98 over 20 minutes just before the close on November 29, when stocks traded in an abbreviated session. Today’s drop took it down 0.4% to 1,798.73 between 3:24 p.m. and 3:53 p.m.

“We have seen some end-of-day weakness in recent trading sessions,” Alan Gayle, senior investment strategist and director of asset allocation at RidgeWorth Capital Management, said by phone to Bloomberg. “It may be turning out to be a pattern.”

The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index soared to 57.3 in November from 56.4 a month earlier. The projection of economists called for a drop to 55.1. Estimates ranged from 53.5 to 57.5. Manufacturing accounts for about 12% of the economy.

Another report from Markit Economics showed the final November index of U.S. manufacturing increased to 54.7 from 51.8 the previous month. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for no change from the preliminary November reading of 54.3. Other reports showed manufacturing in the euro area, U.K. and China expanded faster than estimated.

In corporate world, EBay climbed 1.6% to $51.35. The company was the second-most visited online retailer on Black Friday, behind Amazon.com Inc., ComScore said.

Online spending rose 15% to a record $1.2 billion, according to ComScore Inc., as more customers prefer to use their mobile devices in order to shop from their couches rather than waiting in long lines. Online retailers can expect 131 million shoppers for Cyber Monday promotions, up from 129 million last year, the National Retail Federation said.

Graham Holdings Co., which is changing its name from Washington Post Co., lost 3.6% to $649.62. The education and media company agreed to sell its headquarters building in downtown Washington to Carr Properties for about $159 million.

Groupon Inc., the online discount-coupon company, slid 3.3% to $8.75. Goldman Sachs cut its rating on the stock to “neutral” from “buy”.

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