* U.S. manufacturing expands, but at slower-than-expected
* Chinese factory activity also shows tepid improvement
* Euro rebounds after reading of U.S. manufacturing data
* Most European markets closed for Easter Monday
By Herbert Lash
NEW YORK, April 1 U.S. equities mostly traded
lower and oil prices fell on Monday after surveys showed U.S.
and Chinese manufacturing in March expanded less than economists
Major European markets were closed for Easter Monday while
several exchanges were shut in Asia, tamping down trading
Declines in the benchmark S&P 500 and Nasdaq market came
after the S&P 500 closed at a record high on Thursday. The S&P
500 rose 10 percent in the first three months of the year, its
strongest quarter in a year. The Dow climbed 11.3 percent and
the Nasdaq gained 8.2 percent during the period.
The pace of expansion in the U.S. manufacturing sector
unexpectedly slowed last month, said the Institute for Supply
Management. ISM said its index of national factory activity fell
to 51.3 from 54.2 in February. The reading was shy of
expectations of 54.2, according to a Reuters poll of economists.
China's official purchasing managers index for March came in
at 50.9, the highest in 11 months, although a Reuters poll
showed economists had expected a rise to 52.0 from February's
five-month low of 50.1.
U.S. Treasuries rebounded after the ISM report on U.S.
manufacturing, gold prices traded near break-even and the euro
extended gains versus the U.S. dollar.
U.S. stocks were lower, with the exception of the Dow, which
was trading near break-even.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 8.60 points,
or 0.06 percent, at 14,587.14. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index
was down 3.01 points, or 0.19 percent, at 1,566.18. The
Nasdaq Composite Index was down 11.07 points, or 0.34
percent, at 3,256.45.
In oil markets, Brent crude fell after release of the
Chinese manufacturing data and stayed down after release of the
U.S. survey on American factory activity.
"The data came in below market expectations, which could
indicate that oil demand growth may not expand quite as quickly
as we would like it to," said Carl Larry, president of
Houston-based Oil Outlooks and Opinion, about Chinese
"But China's still growing, and that continues to be an
underlying support factor long term for the market. Whether they
are at 6 percent or 7 percent, they are growing."
Brent for May delivery was down 10 cents at $109.92
a barrel, while U.S. light sweet crude oil fell 93 cents
to $96.30 a barrel.
The euro was up 0.22 percent at $1.2840.
MSCI's all-country world equity index fell
The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note was up
1/32 in price to yield 1.8486 percent.