Stocks have come off their highs earlier in the day on two issues.
1) the ISM Services index for August, at 51.5, was below expectations of a gain of 53.0. Traders are noting that this appears to be inconsistent with the jobs report: the employment part of the ISM services showed a contraction, whereas the nonfarm payroll report showed private payrolls gained 67,000.
2) Pres. Obama made no mention of any further tax cuts in his speech, merely choosing to plead for passage of a bill to help small businesses. Many traders were expecting more expansive commentary about additional tax breaks.
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