U.S. stocks slipped on the last trading day of August Friday, with major stock indices on track of logging the worst month since May 2012, amid mixed economic data and eased worries on Syria.
In midday trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 55.26 points, or 0.37 percent, to 14,785.69 points. The S&P 500 shed 6. 60 point, or 0.40 percent, to 1,631.57 points. The Nasdaq Composite Index dipped 30.00 points, or 0.83 percent, to 3,590.30 points.
Personal income edged up 0.1 percent in July, following a 0.3- percent increase in June, the U.S. Commerce Department said. Personal consumption expenditures also rose 0.1 percent in July, in contrast to a revised 0.6-percent gain in June, the department added.
The fresh data came in below analysts' expectations. JP Morgan economist Daniel Silver said Friday that July's personal consumption expenditure added "fairly significant" downside risk to their third-quarter U.S. gross domestic product forecast.
Adding to the woes of the market, U.S. consumer sentiment fell in August from a six-year high in the prior month. The final reading of the consumer sentiment index stood at 82.1 in August, slightly better than the preliminary reading of 80, according to a joint survey released Friday by Thomson Reuters and University of Michigan.
Moreover, the Chicago Purchasing Managers'Index, considered as a leading indicator of the U.S. economy, increased to 53.0 in August from 52.3 in July, the Institute for Supply Management - Chicago said on Friday.
On the previous trading day, Wall Street rebounded, logging a two-day winning streak, as worries about an imminent attack against Syria eased somewhat after Britain's House of Commons on Thursday rejected a government attack plan on Syria.
However, the United States may take unilateral action against Syria as President Barack Obama's decision-making will be guided by what is in the best interests of the country, U.S. officials said on Thursday.
In corporate news, shares of General Electric Company gave up earlier gains in midday trading after the conglomerate reportedly plans to spin off the U.S. consumer lending division of GE Capital, via an Initial Public Offerings.