NEW YORK (AP) - Stocks flitted between small gains and losses on Wall Street as troubling economic news from China outweighed optimism about more stimulus from the Federal Reserve.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up eight points at 13,314 at noon Eastern time Monday. The Standard & Poor's 500 slipped half a point to 1,437 and the Nasdaq composite fell 11 points to 3,126.
The stumble marks a pause in a rally last week that took the Dow and the S&P 500 to their highest levels in more than four years.
Stock markets rose around the world last week after the European Central Bank announced a long-anticipated plan to support struggling countries in the European Union. Investors are also more hopeful that the Fed will act this week to support the U.S. economy.
Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke indicated in a speech last month that the central bank is inclined to provide new stimulus to the U.S. economy if it's needed. Since the speech, the government reported weak growth in jobs last month, heightening the case of more stimulus. There have also been new signs that manufacturing and construction are slowing down.
"The economy is not going through a nosedive, so I'm not sure we need another stimulus," said John Manley, chief equity strategist at Wells Fargo Advantage Funds. "But Bernanke would rather m