US STOCKS-Wall St higher as investors await key economic data
* ISM index falls to worst levels since 2009
* Construction spending rises to near 8-year high
* Chicago Fed's Evans to speak later in the day
* Indexes up: Dow 0.62 pct, S&P 0.54 pct, Nasdaq 0.58 pct (Updates to early afternoon)
By Tanya Agrawal
Dec 1 (Reuters) - Wall Street kicked off the last month of the year on a positive note as investors look out for key economic data and policy decisions by central banks.
Stocks pared early gains after data showed the U.S. manufacturing sector contracted in November, falling to its worst levels since June 2009.
The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its index of national factory activity fell to 48.6, the first time the index went below 50 since November 2012. A reading below 50 indicates contraction in the manufacturing sector.
"It was surprisingly poor and I think coming on the heels of the Chicago PMI it suggests the stronger dollar was starting to gnaw at the U.S. economy," said Joe Manimbo, senior market analyst, Western Union Business Solutions, Washington. Continuación...