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S&P edges down on virus woes, slowing economy

The Dow and S&P 500 posted modest losses on the first trading day of August amid concerns over economic growth and the ongoing health crisis.

The Dow earlier hit a record intraday high but reversed course when investors learned that U.S. manufacturing activity growth slowed for a second straight month in July. Analysts said the report reinforced the notion that economic growth may have peaked.

U.S. bond yields, which fell on that report, later pared their declines, pressuring stocks.

Clarfeld Citizens Private Wealth Chief Investment Officer Michael Hans says investors are taking their cues from the bond market.

“Equity markets are taking the lead from fixed income, and I think that's continuing to be the case. It's somewhat confounding that the data still remains positive. Backdrop is still positive, but rates continue to come in.”

The Dow shed a fourth of a percent. The S&P ended two-tenth of a percent lower. The Nasdaq closed flat.

Shares of Square shot 10% higher. The payments firm is buying the buy-now, pay-later pioneer, Afterpay of Australia, for $29 billion.

Shares of Foot Locker fell 2%. The athletic footwear retailer said it’ll pay $1.1 billion to buy two smaller shoe store chains – California-based WSS and Japan’s Atmos.

With manufacturing data weaker than expected, investor’s eyes will turn to services sector data on Wednesday and the monthly jobs report on Friday.

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