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News Summary: US service firms grow at slower pace

The Associated Press

SERVICES FIRMS GROWING: U.S. service companies grew at a slightly weaker pace in October than September because sales and new orders slowed. The Institute for Supply Management said Monday that its index of non-manufacturing activity fell to 54.2 from 55.1. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.

MORE HIRING: A gauge of hiring rose to a seven-month high of 54.9. That corresponds with last week's jobs report, which showed services firms added the most jobs since February.

SOME MOMENTUM: The overall reading for October was above the average of 53.8 for the July-September period, suggesting the service sector still has some momentum.