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Stocks waver…Trade deficit lowest since April…Fewer job openings

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are wobbling between small gains and losses as investors pause following several record-setting rallies. The S&P 500 index has been just below the record it set on Monday, its fourth in six days. The Nasdaq and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were also trading near the record highs they set on Monday.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit fell in September to the lowest level in five months as imports dropped more sharply than exports and America ran a rare surplus in petroleum. The Commerce Department said Tuesday that the September gap between what America buys from abroad and what it sells shrank by 4.7% to $52.5 billion. That was down from the August deficit of $55 billion and was the smallest imbalance since April.

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers advertised fewer open jobs in September compared with the previous month, but the number of open jobs remains high by historic standards. The Labor Department said Tuesday that the number of available jobs fell to 7 million, from 7.3 million in August. Job openings peaked at 7.6 million in November and have slowly declined since.

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. service companies grew at a faster pace in October after sinking to a three-year low in September. The Institute for Supply Management, an association of purchasing managers, reported Tuesday that its service index grew to 54.7% last month, up from 52.6% in September. Any reading above 50 signals growth.

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier says talks on a free trade deal with the U.K. once the country has left the bloc might be as tough as the Brexit talks over the past years. Barnier told the Web Summit in Lisbon that already by next summer it will be clear if the transition period put in place to agree on future relations between Britain and the bloc will have to be extended beyond the end of next year.

Associated Press

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