Stocks closed mixed Thursday after a day of small gains and losses.

At the close, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 18.2 points, about 0.1 percent, at 17,926.4. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was up less than a point at 2,082.8. The Nasdaq composite lost 1.5 points, about 0.03 percent, to 4,945.9.

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CRUDE ENERGY: About the same time, the price of U.S. benchmark crude oil slipped 26 cents, about 0.6 percent, to $41.50 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, the price of Brent crude, an international standard, was down 33 cents, about 0.8 percent, at $43.85 a barrel.

TREASURY NOTES: The U.S. Treasury 10-year notes gained for the first time in four days after a $20 billion auction of the securities drew a lower-than-forecast yield, Bloomberg News reported. The notes sold Wednesday yielded 1.765 percent, compared with an estimate of 1.780 percent in a Bloomberg survey.

The Federal Reserve is gauging whether it can raise U.S. interest rates as central banks in Europe and Japan have boosted stimulus to combat slow global growth, dragging bond yields lower abroad.

“We had a very strong auction,” said Subadra Rajappa, head of U.S. rates strategy at Societe Generale SA, one of 22 primary dealers that trade with the Fed. “Bonds are driven a lot more by demand from overseas. If you look at bunds and JGBs on a relative basis, the 10-year part of the curve looks very attractive — that’s your driving factor.”

This story is supplemented with a report from Bloomberg News.