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Stocks edged upwards Thursday morning after the U.S. Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing data for August came in stronger than economists had expected.

The ISM declined from July, to 50.6 points from 50.9. The consensus had been for the index to fall below 50 for the first time since 2009, indicating that the sector had contracted, or was very close to contracting.

The weak, but better-than-expected, performance may relieve some concerns that the U.S. is on the verge of falling back into a recession.

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In Toronto, the S&P/TSX increased by 7 points to 12,775.6. In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 44 points to 11657. The broader S&P 500 gained 3.3 points to 1222.2.

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