US STOCKS-Wall Street holds flat after data; Deere weighs

Wed May 15, 2013 10:43am EDT
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* Deere falls on after outlook

* Empire State contracts to lowest level in four months

* PPI shows weak inflation pressure

* Indexes off: Dow 0.09 pct, S&P 0.10 pct, Nasdaq 0.05 pct

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, May 15 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks slipped on Wednesday, as both the Dow and S&P 500 held near their most recent record highs after a flurry of economic data did little to upset investor expectations for central bank policies.

Data showed activity in New York state's manufacturing sector unexpectedly contracted to its lowest level in four months, falling to minus 1.43 from 3.05 in April, and below expectations for an increase to 4.

In addition, industrial production fell 0.5 percent in April, more than the expected 0.2 percent decline for the month.

But a separate report showed producer prices recorded their largest drop in three years in April, falling by a seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent, the biggest decline since February 2010, which should enable the Federal Reserve to maintain its accommodative monetary policy.   Continued...