US STOCKS-Wall St flat, energy shares hit

* Construction spending posts largest gain in nearly 10 yrs

* Asian manufacturing growth slows in May

* Dow up 0.4 pct, S&P off 0.1 pct, Nasdaq up 0.1 pct

* For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]
(Updates midday, changes byline)

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, June 1 (BestGrowthStock) – Wall Street was little changed
in choppy mid-day trading on Tuesday after erasing losses as
data showing U.S. manufacturing expanded for a tenth straight
month failed to quell fears of a slowing economy.

Construction spending rose 2.7 percent, and investment in
private construction recorded its largest increase since July
2004, the Commerce Department said. Also, the Institute for
Supply Management’s manufacturing index expanded more than
expected in May. For details, see [ID:nN01112488]

“People are scared. It’s hard to fundamentally make a real
bullish story,” said Stephen Massocca, managing director,
Wedbush Morgan in San Francisco. “It’s clear that (data) at a
minimum are plateauing here, relative to where they were in the
first quarter.”

The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI: ) gained 42.55
points, or 0.42 percent, to 10,179.18. The Standard & Poor’s
500 Index (.SPX: ) shed 0.84 points, or 0.08 percent, to
1,088.57. The Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC: ) added 1.93 points,
or 0.09 percent, to 2,258.97.

Markets opened lower after a survey showed a more sluggish
pace in euro zone manufacturing as well as new data indicating
the rate of China’s factory output eased. [ID:nN01231825]

Energy stocks were among the worst performers on Wall
Street, including U.S.-listed shares of BP Plc (BP.N: ), which
tumbled 12.2 percent to $37.68 following the company’s failed
attempt to stem the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. [ID:nN01262229]

Halliburton Co (HAL.N: ) slumped nearly 12 percent to $21.91
after Goldman Sachs removed the oilfield services giant from
its “conviction buy list,” citing short-term concerns related
to the oil spill. The S&P Energy index (.GSPE: ) fell 1.8

“The BP news isn’t helping markets today. It’s going to
weigh on oil companies and keep things in a state of flux in
the energy sector for a while,” said Kurt Brunner, portfolio
manager at Swarthmore Group in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

In merger news, ev3 Inc (EVVV.O: ) jumped 17.5 percent to
$22.23 after Covidien Plc (COV.N: ) agreed to buy the maker of
stents and other vascular devices for $2.6 billion. Covidien
shares slipped 2 percent to $41.56. [ID:nN0193836]

On the New York Stock Exchange, declines outpaces advancers
by almost 2 to 1, while on the Nasdaq, losers outstripped
winners by about 5 to 2.

Investing Research

(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; additional reporting by Ryan
Vlastelica; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

US STOCKS-Wall St flat, energy shares hit