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Stocks close lower; indexes back away from records

The New York Stock Exchange on Monday, Aug.

The New York Stock Exchange on Monday, Aug. 24, 2015.  Photo Credit: AP / Seth Wenig

Stocks closed slightly lower Monday, capping a mostly quiet day of trading that eased the market back from record highs set late last week.

Utilities and materials companies posted some of the biggest losses. Energy stocks led the gainers, even as crude oil prices declined.

Technology companies and banks also bucked the downward trend. Google parent Alphabet closed above $1,000 a share for the first time.

The dip snapped a two-day winning streak for stocks, which have been mostly pushing higher this year. The major stock market indexes hit new highs last Thursday and Friday. Encouraging economic data, low interest rates, strong consumer confidence and solid company earnings have helped keep investors in a buying mood this year, driving stocks higher.

“Equities are digesting the gains from last week,” said Michael Baele, senior portfolio manager at U.S. Bank Private Wealth Management.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index dipped 2.97 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,436.10. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 22.25 points, or 0.1 percent, to 21,184.04. The Nasdaq composite index lost 10.11 points, or 0.2 percent, to 6,295.68.

Small-company stocks fell more than the rest of the market. The Russell 2000 slid 8.94 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,396.45. Three stocks fell for every two that rose on the New York Stock Exchange.

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