After finishing the previous quarter with a spectacular finale on Friday, the second half of 2012 began quietly. At noon, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
An unexpected decline in manufacturing data seemed to be the predominant factor pushing the Dow lower today. The Institute for Supply Management said its index of national factory activity fell almost four points to 49.7 from 53.5, far below expectations of 52.2 for the month of June. This marks the first time since July 2009 that the index fell below the 50 mark, which indicates an economic contraction. Stocks immediately turned lower following the data's release earlier this morning. While the decline in American manufacturing arrived unforeseen, a larger decline in eurozone manufacturing came as no surprise, as factories in Germany and France show they're suffering from the problems of their southern neighbors.
Dow in focus
Telecom giant AT&T
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Charlie Kannel owns shares of AT&T. The Motley Fool owns no shares of the companies mentioned above. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.