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U.S. stocks mixed despite energy sector gains

The New York Stock Exchange in reflection on

The New York Stock Exchange in reflection on Feb. 22, 2016. Credit: Bloomberg News / Michael Nagle

After a day in a slump, stocks closed Thursday with modest gains.

At the close on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 44.6 points, about 0.3 percent, to 16,943.9. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained nearly 7 points, about 0.4 percent, at nearly 1,993.4. The Nasdaq composite added 4 points, about 0.1 percent, to 4,707.4.

CRUDE FIGURES: About the same time, the price of U.S. benchmark crude oil was up 6 cents, about 0.2 percent, at $34.72 a barrel in trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, the international benchmark, Brent crude, was up 11 cents, about 0.3 percent, at $37.04 a barrel.

OIL FROM ARCTIC RESERVE: ConocoPhillips is the first oil company to draw crude from the National Petroleum Reserve on Alaska’s North Slope, an area the size of Indiana which President Warren G. Harding dedicated as an emergency oil supply for the U.S. Navy in 1923. The Bureau of Land Management, which controls the reserve, in 2013 identified 12 million acres that could be available for development while setting aside 11 million acres to protect wild animals and grazing lands

U.S. PRODUCTIVITY: The Labor Department said Thursday that productivity — the amount of output per hour of work — fell at an annual rate of 2.2 percent in the October-December period. Preliminary data had reported a 3 percent drop. Labor costs rose at a rate of 3.3 percent, revised from an initial 4.5 percent estimate.

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