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CONSTRUCTION & MANUFACTURING: U.S. construction spending fell by the most in a year, while manufacturing contracted for a third straight month.
HOT WHEELS: Americans bought more cars in August, the strongest month for U.S. auto sales since 2009. Overall car and truck sales increased 20 percent to 1.3 million.
THE NUMBERS: The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 55, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index fell two points. The Nasdaq index gained eight points. Its biggest stock, Apple, rose after inviting reporters to a news event next week at which it is expected to announce the long-awaited iPhone 5.