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Stocks end day mixed as retailers rise

| Monday, July 17, 2017, 7:27 p.m.
Trader Peter Tuchman works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, July 17, 2017. Stocks are starting the week mostly lower, having closed at all-time highs the week before. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Trader Peter Tuchman works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, July 17, 2017. Stocks are starting the week mostly lower, having closed at all-time highs the week before. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK — Stocks hardly budged Monday as smaller firms and retailers rose while health care companies and banks declined. Chemical and mining companies rose as the dollar weakened.

Precious metals rose as the dollar, already at its lowest levels in almost a year, weakened a bit further. Bond yields slipped, sending banks lower and high-dividend stocks like utilities and household goods companies higher.

With indexes at or near record highs and another round of corporate earnings reports just beginning, investors didn't make many big moves and stocks wobbled between small gains and losses all day.

Investors expect another solid round of corporate earnings, and they think the Federal Reserve will be more cautious about raising interest rates because of some weak economic data, including Friday's report on retail sales.

“The fundamental picture for investors seems to be sort of strangely perfect, with improving fundamentals and a central bank with its foot that was only weakly on the gas coming off the gas,” said Katie Nixon, chief investment officer for Wealth Management at Northern Trust.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 0.13 points to 2,459.14. The Dow Jones industrial average shed 8.02 points to 21,629.72. The Nasdaq composite gained 1.96 points to 6,314.43. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose 2.78 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,431.60.

The S&P 500, Dow and Russell 2000 all closed at record highs Friday. The Nasdaq has rallied almost 4 percent in the last seven days, and it's recovered almost all of the losses it sustained when technology companies went into a slump in early June.

The dollar has been declining this year as investors have concluded the federal government isn't close to any kind of infrastructure spending package, which would strengthen the U.S. economy. Meanwhile economies in Europe are doing better and interest rates there are rising, which makes European currencies stronger.

Gold rose $6.20 to $1,232.80 an ounce. Silver gained 17 cents, or 1 percent, to $16.05 an ounce.

Copper rose 3 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $2.72 a pound.

Investment firm BlackRock dipped after it reported weaker-than-expected results in the second quarter. The company's earnings and revenue fell short of Wall Street forecasts, and its stock declined $13.71, or 3.1 percent, to $425.63.

After the end of regular trading, Netflix said it picked up 5.2 million subscribers in the second quarter. That was its biggest gain ever in what's usually a slow period, and the streaming video company's stock jumped 11 percent aftermarket.

Financial giant Goldman Sachs, health care products maker Johnson & Johnson and health insurer UnitedHealth will report their second-quarter results early Tuesday.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.31 percent from 2.33 percent.

FedEx said shipping volumes for its TNT Express business are down and customers are still experiencing delays after the business was hit by a cyberattack in late June. FedEx said it does not know when its services will back up to speed and its annual results will take a hit because of the dip in shipments and the cost of responding to the attack. The company's stock fell $3.58, or 1.6 percent, to $215.48.

Meal kit company Blue Apron tumbled after The Sunday Times reported that Amazon is getting ready to launch its own meal-prep business. The British newspaper reported that Amazon registered a trademark for a food kit business.

Blue Apron filed to go public about two weeks before Amazon agreed to buy the Whole Foods grocery chain. The company went public June 29 with an IPO that priced at $10 a share, less than the company initially expected, and its stock has fallen further since then. On Monday it dropped 77 cents, or 10.5 percent, to $6.59 while Amazon added $8.23 to $1,010.04.

A number of companies hammered out deals over the weekend. Diamond producer Dominion Diamond agreed to be bought by Washington Cos. for $14.25 a share, or about $1.2 billion. The company's stock gained 59 cents, or 4.4 percent, to $14.07.

Church & Dwight, the consumer products maker behind Arm & Hammer baking soda and other brands, said it will buy showerhead and water-powered toothbrush maker Water Pik for $1 billion. Church & Dwight stock added 71 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $53.33.

Label manufacturer Multi-Color Corp. said it will pay $1.3 billion in cash and stock to buy the labels business of Constantia Flexibles. Multi-Color said the deal will raise its annual revenue to $1.6 billion. Its stock declined $4.80, or 5.8 percent, to $77.75.

Benchmark U.S. crude lost 52 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $46.02 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 49 cents, or 1 percent, to $48.42 a barrel in London.

Wholesale gasoline stayed at $1.56 a gallon. Heating oil lost 2 cents to $1.50 a gallon. Natural gas added 4 cents to $3.02 per 1,000 cubic feet.

London's FTSE 100 index rose 0.3 percent while the French CAC 40 shed 0.1 percent. Germany's DAX finished 0.4 percent lower. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong gained 0.3 percent and the Kospi of South Korea added 0.4 percent. Japanese markets were closed for a holiday.

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