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    Encouraging news on economy fails to lift stocks

    Encouraging economic news wasn’t enough to give the stocks a fourth straight day of gains. Manufacturing grew faster in April than in March as exports picked up and factories accelerated hiring. Shoppers spent more and construction spending also ticked higher. The reports suggest the economy is gaining momentum after a harsh winter. Investors’ reaction to the reports was also muted ahead of Friday’s April jobs report. Economists predict US firms added 210,000 jobs last month and that the unemployment rate dipped to 6.6% from 6.7%. In earnings news, Avon Products slumped on a wider loss while MasterCard and Yelp were among the gainers.