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Market Recap: Continued Poor Earnings Reports Stifle Stocks

Markets closed mixed today:

▲ Dow: +0.03 percent

▲ Nasdaq: +0.06 percent

▼ S&P: -0.07 percent

Precious metals:

▼ Gold: -0.05 percent to $1,706.40 an ounce

▼ Silver: -0.13 percent to settle at $31.95

Commodities:

▲ Oil: +0.03 percent

Markets were mixed because:

Stocks closed mostly lower Friday after investors found little to like in weak corporate earnings reports and news of only tepid growth in the U.S. economy in the third quarter.

The Dow Jones industrial average managed a gain of 3.53 points to close at 13,107.21 after spending much of the day in the red.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 1.03 points to 1,411.94 and the Nasdaq composite rose 1.83 points to 2,987.95.

Stocks rose in the morning before a mild midday sell-off, then recovered somewhat in the afternoon.

The morning gains came after the Commerce Department estimated that the U.S. economy expanded at a 2 percent annual rate from July through September. That was better than the previous quarter, and better than analysts expected, but obviously not strong enough to bring down the unemployment rate.

Apple fell $5.54 to $604 after saying its profit will decline this holiday season.

Even with Friday's rise, stocks lost ground this week, inflecting a sort of death-by-a-thousand-cuts on the rally that began in September. The Dow was down 236.30 points for the week, or 1.8 percent. The S&P has fallen 21.25 points, or 1.5 percent.

Goodyear Tire & Rubber sank 10 percent after a steep dropoff in sales in Europe delivered a blow to its earnings. The stock fell $1.28 to $11.02.

The advertising conglomerate Interpublic also turned in results that fell short of analysts' forecasts, and its stock fell 2.5 percent, or 26 cents, to $10.29.

Amazon rose $15.32, or 7 percent, to $238.24 despite a smaller-than-expected quarterly profit and a prediction for smaller-than-expected holiday revenue.

Among other companies making big moves, cable TV provider Comcast jumped $1.20, or 3.3 percent, to $37.56 after reporting that its income more than doubled in the latest quarter. Revenue was higher than analysts were expecting, and more customers signed up for premium services like high-definition video recorders.

Varian Medical Systems jumped $8.83, or 15 percent, to $66.93, the biggest increase in the S&P 500 index. The company, which sells medical imaging equipment and radiation-emitting devices for treating tumors, reported a 20 percent rise in income because of higher sales of devices.

On its first day of trading, dairy company WhiteWave Foods lost 25 cents to $16.75, down from its initial public offering price of $17, after rising as high as $19.17 earlier.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.75 percent from 1.82 percent on Thursday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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