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S&P caps worst month since 2012.

Byline: Nick Taborek and Jonathan Morgan

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index capped its worst monthly drop, 3.1%, since May 2012 (6.3%) on Friday, the last trading day in August, as investors weighed the prospects for American military action in Syria and disappointing data on consumer spending.

PulteGroup Inc. slid 3 percent as housing stocks retreated after a report showed consumer spending rose less than forecast in July. Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. tumbled 15 percent after reporting second-quarter earnings that trailed analysts' estimates as costs increased. Inc jumped 13 percent as the provider of customer-management software announced forecasts that beat projections.

U.S. exchanges will be closed Monday for the Labor Day holiday.

"People don't want to go into the weekend hugely exposed up or down, especially with this fear of Syria overhanging the market,'' said Beth Lilly, a Minneapolis-based portfolio manager with Gabelli Funds, which oversees $40 billion.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final index of consumer sentiment fell to 82.1 in August, a four-month low, from the six-year high of 85.1 in July, as interest rates rose and tensions in the Middle East intensified.

-- Bloomberg News
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Title Annotation:Business
Author:Taborek, Nick; Morgan, Jonathan
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Aug 31, 2013
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