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Stocks close mixed: Dow, S&P rise; Nasdaq drops

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Stocks close mixed: Dow, S&P rise; Nasdaq drops

Stocks closed mixed Tuesday as energy stocks rallied on higher oil prices but tech stocks lagged. The Dow Jones industrial average managed to move back above the 18,000 level as it gained 59.66 points, or 0.3%, to close at 18,036.70. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 3.41 points, or 0.2%, to 2095.84.the-percentage-of-americans-playing-the-stock-market-is-at-an-all-time-low

The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite fell 10.96 points, or 0.2%, to 4977.29. Energy stocks got a boost as oil prices rose for a third straight day. Benchmark U.S. crude gained $1.38 to $53.29 a barrel in New York. Investors were digesting a batch of economic and earnings reports as financial markets confront a mixed picture of where corporate profits are heading.

Analysts are expecting the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index to post its first contraction in quarterly earnings in almost six years when first-quarter profit reports are all tallied up. Businesses boosted stockpiles a bit. The Commerce Department says stockpiles rose 0.3% in February after no growth in January.

European shares ended mostly lower, with Britain’s FTSE 100 gaining 0.2%, Germany’s DAX dropping 0.9% and France’s CAC 40 losing 0.7%. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index was flat and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dropped 1.6%, amid a lack of fresh news to buoy market sentiments. Stocks fell Monday as investors looked ahead to the busy week of earnings and economic data.

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