Stocks and exchange traded funds (ETFs) see-sawed around break-even this morning as any decline was limited by a higher-than-expected reading on Chicago-area manufacturing.
Business activity in the Chicago region expanded far more than expected in December. The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago said its business barometer rose to 60, hitting its highest level in nearly four years. This figure was much better than the expected reading of 55, reports Ryan Vlastelica for Reuters . The gain in the reading was attributed to the Employment Index part of the number. The Employment Index vaulted to 51.2 from November’s 41.9 – that was the highest since November 2007 and the first time it has been in expansionary territory (above 50) since then.