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Stocks close mostly lower, except for Dow

The Wall Street street sign near the New

The Wall Street street sign near the New York Stock Exchange on Feb. 16, 2017. Credit: AFP / Getty Images / Bryan R. Smith

Losses for energy and technology companies left most U.S. stocks lower on Thursday. Smaller companies fared worse as the dollar remained at 15-month lows.

Energy companies weakened as the price of oil turned lower, and technology companies declined as Apple gave up a piece of its big gain from the day before.

Small companies, which surged in November and December, have slumped this week. Smaller banks fared worse than larger ones.

Julian Emanuel, an equity strategist for UBS, said that as the dollar continues to lose strength, investors are selling smaller and more domestically focused companies and buying more international businesses, as the weaker dollar will help their profits and sales outside the United States.

“Most people didn’t expect the degree of dollar weakness that we’re seeing,” he said. The ICE U.S. Dollar Index is down 9 percent this year and hasn’t been this low in about 15 months.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index shed 0.22 percent to end at 2,472.16. The Dow Jones industrial average notched its eighth gain in a row and added 9.86 points, closing at 22,026.10. The Nasdaq composite fell 0.35 percent to 6,340.34. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies sank 0.54 percent, to 1,405.23 after a sharp loss a day ago. — AP

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