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Stocks drift lower in quiet trading

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By The Associated Press
Friday, Dec. 27, 2013, 6:33 p.m.

NEW YORK — An early stock market advance was gone by the early afternoon on Friday as the market flattened after six days of gains.

Trading was quiet, with many investors on vacation.

Bond yields continued to rise, with the 10-year Treasury note climbing above the 3 percent mark.

The yield hasn't consistently traded above that level since July 2011.

Keeping score: The Dow Jones industrial average lost a point to close at 16,478. The Standard & Poor's 500 index was down less than a point at 1,841. The Nasdaq composite edged down 10 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4,156.

Higher rates: The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 3.01 percent from 2.99 percent on Thursday. Bond yields have steadily climbed since Dec. 18, when the Federal Reserve announced it will pare back its bond-buying economic stimulus program.

‘Road to normal': “Interest rates are on a road back to normalcy after being artificially suppressed by the Fed,” said Karyn Cavanaugh, market strategist with ING U.S. Investment Management. Cavanaugh said she expects the yield on the 10-year note to rise to about 3.5 percent by the end of 2014.

GM recalls: General Motors fell 50 cents, or 1 percent, to $41.03. The company said it will have to recall 1.5 million cars in China to replace a bracket that secures a fuel pump.

Twitter stalls: Twitter fell $6.61, or 9 percent, to $66.70. The social media giant has soared in recent days, prompting one Wall Street analyst to downgrade the company's stock to the equivalent of “sell,” saying the rally is overdone. Even with Friday's sell-off, the company's stock is up 63 percent this month.

Winding down: There are only three trading days left in 2013, and most of Wall Street remains on vacation for the Christmas and New Year's holidays.

Volume for the past three trading days has been very low. There were no major economic reports or corporate earnings scheduled on Friday.

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