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Slight rise in stocks; energy shares gain

Trader Jonathan Niles works on the floor of

Trader Jonathan Niles works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Thursday, May 4, 2017. Photo Credit: AP / Richard Drew

Energy companies jumped with the price of oil Wednesday, but overall, stocks finished only slightly higher as a quiet week of trading continued.

The price of U.S. crude oil jumped 3 percent as fuel stockpiles kept shrinking, and that made investors more optimistic about energy company profits. Strong earnings from video game maker Electronic Arts and chipmaker Nvidia helped technology stocks move up.

However weak results from Priceline and Disney hurt consumer-focused companies, and health care stocks also stumbled as drug companies fell.

Investors didn’t react much to President Donald Trump’s surprise decision to fire FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday evening. U.S. stocks also had little reaction to the French presidential election last weekend.

“It’s almost as if the market has become numb,” said Julian Emanuel, an equity strategist for UBS.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index picked up 2.71 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,399.63, a fraction of a point above the all-time high it set Monday. The Dow Jones industrial average shed 32.67 points, or 0.2 percent, to 20,943.11 as Disney and Boeing slumped. The Nasdaq composite finished at a record for the fourth day in a row as it rose 8.56 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,129.14. The Russell 2000 index of small-company stocks was up 7.73 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,399.59.

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