Shares edge up on Wall Street

It’s been a quiet day on the whole, with stocks in positive territory in New York, but only by paltry amounts.

The S&P 500 has quietly held its modest gains for most of the day, rising 0.21% to stand at 1765.3 within the last hour of trading on Wall Street, whereas the Dow has fluctuated in and out of the red, while never venturing too far from unchanged.

Trading has for the most part been lacklustre, with below-average volumes traded on the New York stock exchanges. The main piece of economic news today was a double-helping of data for factory orders. The US Commerce Department released numbers for both August and September, caused by a shutdown-related delay to the earlier report, but the data fails to provide great clarity on how the manufacturing sector is progressing.

Some reports have shown strength in this area, such as Friday’s ISM manufacturing index and Thursday’s Chicago PMI, but other indicators have suggested slowing. Today’s data leans more to the latter, with August’s orders down 0.1% and September’s rising in line with expectations at 1.7%. When the volatile transportation component is removed from September’s report, the core remainder was down 0.2% (and down 0.4% in August).

Although the stock market as a whole has been quite staid today, one notable exception was BlackBerry. Its share price plunged around 16% after the company said it would seek to raise $1 billion instead of going ahead with a previously announced sale to Fairfax and that it will be replacing its CEO.

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