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Stocks claw back much of an early loss and finish mixed

Three U.S. flags are to the left of a Wall Street sign in front of the New York Stock Exchange.
The Standard and Poor’s 500 index is within 0.2% of the all-time high it reached a month ago.
(Associated Press)

Stocks gave up some of their recent gains Monday, though the selling eased toward the end of the day, leaving the major indexes mixed.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index slipped less than 0.1% after having been down 0.3% in the early going. The benchmark index, which is coming off two straight weekly gains, is within 0.2% of the all-time high it reached a month ago.

The Dow Jones industrial average also closed lower, while the Nasdaq notched a modest gain. Small-company stocks far outpaced the rest of the market.

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The quiet opening to the week follows several choppy weeks as investors continue to gauge the economy’s recovery and the risks of rising inflation. Wall Street faces a relatively light week of economic data, though investors Thursday will get more information on how much consumer prices rose last month.

The S&P 500 fell 3.37 points to 4,226.52. The Dow slipped 126.15 points, or 0.4%, to 34,630.24. The Nasdaq rose 67.23 points, or 0.5%, to 13,881.72. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies gained 32.76 points, or 1.4%, to end at 2,319.18.

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Banks, industrial stocks and materials companies helped pull the broader market lower. Communications companies and healthcare stocks made solid gains. Facebook rose 1.9%, while drugmaker Moderna rose 6.6% after it sought regulatory authorization in Europe to let adolescents receive its COVID-19 vaccine.

Biogen soared 38.3% for the biggest gain in the S&P 500 after the Food and Drug Administration said it had approved the company’s drug for treating Alzheimer’s disease. Biogen’s drug is the first Alzheimer’s disease treatment approved by the FDA in nearly 20 years.

Treasury yields mostly rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury inched up to 1.57% from 1.56% late Friday. Crude oil prices were little changed.

Cruise line operators rose after several companies announced or confirmed plans to start sailing again this summer. The industry essentially shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic. Norwegian Cruise Line added 3.1% and Carnival rose 1.1%.

Corporate buyout plans moved several stocks. U.S. Concrete jumped 29.3% after construction materials company Vulcan Materials said it would buy the company. Design software company Autodesk fell 2.1% after announcing plans to pursue a buyout of Altium.

Investors will get another glimpse into the effect of inflation Thursday with the Labor Department’s consumer price report for May. Prices for such items as food, clothes and housing have been rising as the economy recovers.

Investors and economists are concerned that a steep rise in prices could crimp the recovery and prompt the Federal Reserve to withdraw some of its support for the economy, such as keeping interest rates ultra-low and buying bonds.

Markets in Europe closed mostly higher, while Asian markets ended mixed.


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