Softish ISM data and super strong auto sales Tuesday could paint a mixed picture of U.S. manufacturing, which continues to suffer.
Stocks start off December, following a flat performance in November despite volatile swings. The S&P 500 was up just 0.05 percent for the month, finishing at 2080 Monday, and it is up 1 percent for the year. Other markets saw more dramatic moves in November, with West Texas Intermediate oil futures down 10 percent and the dollar index up 3.4 percent.
ISM manufacturing data Tuesday should show a slight gain to 50.5, reflecting expansion but just barely. On the other hand, vehicle sales should be gangbusters — at a total annual selling pace above 18 million for a third month, the longest stretch ever at that rate.