Stocks closed mostly lower after an up-and-down day of trading as energy companies and retailers dragged the market down, the AP reports. A steep drop in the price of oil Wednesday pulled the energy sector lower. Devon Energy slumped 3.9%. Benchmark US crude fell 2.9%. Home improvement retailers did poorly. Lowe's sank 4.5% and Home Depot gave back 1.1%. Several big tech companies rose. Facebook climbed 1.9% and Microsoft increased 1.5%.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell a fraction of a point to 2,629. The Dow Jones industrial average gave back 39 points, or 0.2%, to 24,140. The Nasdaq composite added 14 points, or 0.2%, to 6,776. Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.32%.
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