US stocks close mixed after mediocre China data

NEW YORK (AFP) - US stocks on Monday finished the day mixed after Standard & Poor's raised its outlook for the US debt rating and lackluster economic data out of China.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 9.53 (0.06 per cent) to 15,238.59. The broad-based S&P 500 slipped 0.57 (0.03 per cent) to 1,642.81, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index added 4.55 (0.13 per cent) at 3,473.77.

Before trade opened S&P upgraded its debt rating outlook for the United States, saying there is now less than a one-in-three chance for a downgrade in the near term.

S&P cited a somewhat improved US political climate following the year-end 2012 "fiscal-cliff" deal and a US economic environment that should lead the country to "match or exceed its peers in the coming years." Over the weekend, China reported industrial output in May rose by 9.2 per cent year-on-year, slightly weaker than the 9.3 per cent increase in April.

China's fixed asset investment - a key measure of government spending in the world's second-largest economy - increased 20.4 per cent from January through May compared with last year, slowing from the 20.6 per cent gain in the first four months of the year.

Apple dipped 0.7 per cent after unveiling its iTunes Radio Service as a streaming music competitor to Pandora and Spotify. The launch came at Apple's annual developer conference in San Francisco.

Pandora gained 2.5 per cent.

Yoga attire maker Lululemon Athletica gained 1.0 per cent during the session, but fell 9.1 per cent in after-hours trading after the company announced chief executive Christine Day would step down once a new leader is identified.

Google rose 1.2 per cent following reports the technology giant is close to a deal to acquire Israeli mapping application Waze. Media reports put the size of the deal at US$1.0-US$1.3 billion.

McDonald's gained 1.3 per cent after reporting that US comparable sales rose 2.4 per cent in May. The fast-food chain's international segments also notched increases.

Agro-tech giant Monsanto rose 4.5 per cent after Macquarie raised the stock to "outperform", Dow Jones Newswires reported.

Bond prices sank. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury rose to 2.22 per cent from 2.16 per cent late Friday, while the 30-year increased to 3.37 per cent from 3.32 per cent. Bond prices move inversely to yields.