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Stocks muddled as investors monitor company earnings

Stocks moved slightly higher in midday trading on

Stocks moved slightly higher in midday trading on Tuesday, July 26, 2016, as investors monitor corporate earnings from the likes of Gilead, McDonald's, Texas Instruments and others. Above, a sign for Wall Street carved into the side of a building in Manhattan is seen on Monday, July 6, 2015. Credit: AP / Mark Lennihan

Stocks had a muddled session on Tuesday, as investors worked through a large batch of corporate earnings from a range of companies including Gilead Sciences, McDonald’s and Texas Instruments.

McDonald’s shares had their biggest one-day percentage decline since the financial crisis, weighing heavily on the Dow Jones industrial average.

The Dow closed down 19.31 points, or 0.1 percent, to 18,473.75. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was effectively flat, rising just 0.03 percent, to 2,169.18 and the Nasdaq composite rose 0.2 percent, to 5,110.05.

The decline in the Dow was due to McDonald’s, which fell $5.69, or 4.5 percent, to $121.71. Because the Dow is price-weighted and McDonald’s is among the most expensive of the 30 stocks that make it up, the company’s shares have an outsized influence on the index.

Wall Street is in the midst of its busiest week for corporate earnings, with 203 members of the S&P 500 reporting their results. So far, earnings have been better than what analysts had anticipated. Roughly 68 percent of all companies who have reported their results have beaten expectations, according to FactSet. — AP

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