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Market Recap: Stock Mixed on Earnings Report

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Markets closed mixed today:

▲ Dow: +0.47 percent

▼ Nasdaq: -0.31 percent

▼ S&P: -0.03 percent

Precious metals:

▲ Gold: up +1.40 percent to $1,604.34 an ounce

▲ Silver: up +1.18 percent to settle at $27.32

Commodities:

▲ Oil: +0.18 percent

Market closed mixed because:

Whipsawed by strong earnings from some companies, weak ones from others, including the once infallible Apple, investors couldn't make up their mind whether to buy or sell on Wednesday. In the end, they mostly sold, but barely.

The Standard & Poor's 500 slipped 0.42 points, or 0.03 percent, to end 1,337.89. The tiny loss extended the broad index's losses to a fourth straight day. A big reason was Apple, which dropped $22.12 to $578.80, a loss of 4 percent. A sharp drop in new home sales also fed the selling.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 58.73 points, or 0.5 percent, to 12,676.05. That snapped a three-day, triple-digit losing streak for the index.

The Commerce Department said sales of new homes plunged 8 percent last month, the steepest drop since February last year. Sales in the Northeastern U.S. plummeted 60 percent. The decline suggests a weaker job market is dampening any pickup in the industry.

"Housing is not really recovering, it's bottoming," said Steven Ricchiuto, chief economist at Mizuho Securities, a brokerage firm. "That's still a problem with the economy."

The biggest loser in the S&P was Netflix, the video subscription company. It fell $20.11 to $60.28, a loss of 25 percent. The company reported late Tuesday that its net income plunged 91 percent in the latest quarter. Investors are worried about rising licensing fees and slowing subscriber growth.

In Europe, stock indexes mostly higher. A European Central Bank policymaker said the region's bailout fund should be given the power to borrow money from the central bank, increasing its financial resources. That would be necessary if Spain asked for a bailout.

The yield on the Spain's 10-year government bond fell to 7.37 percent from 7.53 percent late Tuesday. That's a positive sign that investors are slightly less worried about Spain's ability to repay its debts.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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