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Stocks Retreat Monday on Manufacturing Data

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Data on manufacturing led to a drag on the major averages Monday.

A survey showing U.S. manufacturing shrank in November, to its weakest level since July of 2009, added to the gloom in the markets. It was the impact of superstorm Sandy and worries about the fiscal cliff, that combined to reduce factory orders and manufacturing jobs.

The Dow lost 60 points to close at 12,966. The Nasdaq Composite, closed off eight points at 3,002. The S&P 500 closed with a seven-point loss at 1,409.

Stocks started the day in positive territory following news that China's manufacturing sector grew last month for the first time in more than a year that boosted crude oil prices to just under $90 a barrel.

On the positive side, Sandy seemed to help November auto sales. Ford saw a gain of 6.5 percent from last year, while Chrysler's sales were up 14 percent. Its best November since 2007. But GM says its sales in the U.S.  gained just three percent from a year earlier.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio