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Stocks flip between gains and losses

Specialist John Parisi right works his post floor New York Stock Exchange Tuesday April 30 2013. Stock prices are opening

Specialist John Parisi, right, works at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday, April 30, 2013. Stock prices are opening mostly lower on Wall Street as weak earnings from Pfizer and other companies drag down major market averages. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

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Updated: April 30, 2013 4:14PM



NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market overcame a morning slide to finish modestly higher, giving the Standard & Poor’s 500 index another record close and its sixth straight month of gains.

The S&P 500 edged up three points to 1,597, an increase of 0.2 percent.

Its 1.8 percent gain in April marked the longest advance since the seven months ending in September 2009, as the market was emerging from its low point during the financial crisis.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 21 to close at 14,839, an increase of 0.1 percent. IBM led the Dow higher after announcing a dividend increase.

The Nasdaq rose 21 points, or 0.7 percent, to 3,328.

Two stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was average at 3.5 billion shares.

Brad Sorensen, director of market research at the brokerage Charles Schwab, said that trading would likely be quiet Tuesday except for companies reporting earnings. Later this week, investors will hear from the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank and get the U.S. government’s monthly job report. Investors are often reluctant to take big positions ahead of potentially market-moving events such as those.

“People are probably taking a breath today,” he said. “We’re waiting for some more important events to happen later in the week.”

Pitney Bowes sank 16 percent after the maker of mailing equipment and software cut its dividend in half and posted a 58 percent drop in net income. Pitney Bowes sank $2.59 to $13.61.

Avon Products’ quarterly loss wasn’t as deep as analysts had expected. The direct-seller of cosmetics has been cutting staff and scaling back operations in an effort to turn around its business. Avon’s stock rose 71 cents to $22.96, a gain of 3 percent.

This earnings season has been a mixed bag. More than half of the companies in the S&P 500 have turned in results, and seven of 10 have beaten analysts’ estimates for earnings, according to S&P Capital IQ. Nearly as many, however, have come up short on revenue: Six of 10 have missed analysts’ revenue targets. That suggests companies are getting more of their profits from laying off staff and other cost-cutting efforts instead of from higher sales.

In the market for U.S. government bonds, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note was unchanged from late Monday at 1.67 percent. It reached its low for the year, 1.65 percent, early Tuesday.

In response to slower economic growth, bond traders from around the world have been buying Treasurys this month, driving yields down. The 10-year yield started April trading around 1.85 percent.



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