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Stocks mixed despite report on improved consumer spending

A trader works on the floor of the

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street on Friday, May 13, 2016. Photo Credit: Bloomberg News / Michael Nagle

Stock indexes were mixed Tuesday as the market comes off its best week since early March.

Investors were encouraged by a report early Tuesday that consumer spending increased in April at the fastest rate in six years.

ON WALL STREET: At midday, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 95.9 points, about 0.5 percent, to 17,777.3. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gave up 5.7 points, about 0.3 percent, to 2,093.2. The Nasdaq composite climbed 2.5 points, about 0.05 percent, to 4,936.1.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.89 percent.

OIL PRICES: About midday, benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 54 cents to $49.87 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 20 cents to $49.96 per barrel.

MOVER: Botox maker Allergan rose 2 percent after the activist investor Carl Icahn said he had accumulated a large stake in the company.

U.S. DATA: Official figures showed consumer spending in the U.S. rose 1 percent in April, the largest amount in more than six years, led by a big jump in purchases of autos and other durable goods. Wages and salaries, the most important component of incomes, gained 0.5 percent. The strong gain for consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of economic activity, is a good sign that the economy is doing better in the current quarter after nearly stalling out at the start of the year.

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