(Reuters) - The pace of growth in the U.S. services sector slowed modestly in October as new orders slipped, though employment improved, an industry report showed on Monday.
KEY POINTS: * The Institute for Supply Management said its services index eased to 54.2 last month from 55.1 in September, shy of economists' forecasts for 54.5, according to a Reuters survey. * A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.
TERRY MORRIS, SENIOR EQUITY MANAGER FOR NATIONAL PENN INVESTORS TRUST COMPANY, READING, PENNSYLVANIA
"This is an indication that we're in a slowdown. We've seen some earnings come in pretty good, but there have also been some disappointments. Demand remains low, and the ISM is another sign of that. The market remains on the defensive right now."
JOSEPH TREVISANI, CHIEF MARKET STRATEGIST, WORLDWIDE MARKETS, WOODCLIFF LAKE, NEW JERSEY
"Moderate growth in the U.S. economy continues. This should provide some support for the dollar, especially with the continuing problems in Europe."
(Americas Economics and Markets Desk; +1-646 223-6300)