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Stock prices ease as manufacturing softens

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May 15, 2013 09:52 AM EST | AP

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NEW YORK — A report of slowing manufacturing in the Northeastern U.S. is getting the stock market off to weak start.

Traders were also disappointed by news that Europe's economic slump continued, dragging France into a recession.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 30 points at 15,186 shortly after the open bell Wednesday, a loss of 0.2 percent.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell three points to 1,647, or 0.2 percent. Both the Dow and S&P closed at record highs the day before.

The Nasdaq composite also fell three points, or 0.1 percent, to 3,459.

Macy's rose 2 percent, or 90 cents, to $48.31 after reporting a 20 percent profit increase, despite cool temperatures.

The New York branch of the Federal Reserve reported that manufacturing declined in the Northeast in May.