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Stocks little changed despite rise in consumer spending

Stocks little changed despite rise in consumer spending

Stocks were little changed in listless trading Thursday as encouraging data on consumer spending wasn’t enough to offset fears abut Greece and the lack of progress on a deal with its international creditors. The health care sector was one of the few bright spots as stocks of hospitals and insurers jumped after the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare health care subsidies.1215-stock-market_full_600

In afternoon trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up less than 0.1% and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 0.1%. The Nasdaq composite index added 0.1%. In economic news, consumer spending rose 0.9% in May, its best gain in six years, and personal income ticked upward 0.5%, the government reported Thursday.

Britain’s FTSE 100 lost 0.5%, France’s CAC 40 was up 0.1% and Germany’s DAX was flat. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index lost 0.5% to close at 20,771.40 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 1%. The Shanghai Composite plunged 3.5%. South Korea’s finance ministry on Thursday cut its forecast for the country’s growth to 3.1% from 3.8%, as the Middle East respiratory syndrome outbreak saps spending and tourism. Stocks tumbled Wednesday as Wall Street dropped for the first time in three sessions after the Greek talks appeared to falter.

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