US STOCKS-Wall St near flat; economic data disappoints
* Dow, S&P 500 coming off worst month since Jan 2014
* Exxon earnings fall less than expected
* ISM manufacturing index misses forecasts
* Indexes: Dow down 0.1 pct, S&P up 0.01 pct, Nasdaq down 0.3 pct (Updates to late afternoon)
By Caroline Valetkevitch
NEW YORK, Feb 2 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were nearly flat in a volatile session on Monday as disappointing readings on consumer spending and the manufacturing sector were offset by gains in energy shares.
While the data pointed to weakening economic conditions, major indexes are coming off their worst monthly performance in a year, leading many traders to seek out bargains in beaten-down sectors.
The S&P 500 moved between positive and negative territory repeatedly, but the S&P 500 energy sector was up 1 percent. Crude oil was last up 2 percent despite a strike at U.S. refineries that could boost crude supply.
Shares of Exxon Mobil were up 1 percent after it reported a smaller-than-expected profit drop. The results follow several disappointing earnings results from many multinational companies. Continuación...