Meanwhile, the Institute for Supply Management's Chicago Purchasing Managers' Index came in at 56.5, beating expectations of a drop to 53 and only slightly below July's 58.5 reading. Readings above 50 indicate that an industry is growing. Still, business orders and production in the Chicago region are at their lowest level since Nov 2009.
A reading ahead of Friday's nonfarm payroll report this morning suggested modest job gains in August. Companies added 91,000 jobs in August, according to payroll processing firm Automatic Data Processing. The latest reading was below expectations for a 100,000 gain. July added a revised 109,000 numbers of jobs.
Hopes of more quantitative easing for the U.S. economy, which would likely boost commodity prices amid the extra liquidity, were thrown into confusion on Tuesday as the latest Federal Open Market Committee minutes revealed a deep rift among members over policy issues.
"In plain English, there are a number of Fed governors who are ready to vote for
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