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Stocks close with gains after slip-sliding most of the day

An American flag is draped on the exterior

An American flag is draped on the exterior of the New York Stock Exchange on July 6, 2015. Credit: AP / Mark Lennihan

After wading in small losses most of the day, U.S. stocks indexes rose and closed with gains Monday as investors sized up the latest batch of company earnings and new data indicating China's economy grew at the slowest pace in six years. Energy stocks were among the biggest decliners as the price of oil and other commodities fell.

At the close on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average had climbed 14.6 points, about 0.08 percent, to 17,230.5. The Standard & Poor's 500 index was up less than a point at 2,033.7. The Nasdaq added 18.8 points, about 0.4 percent, to 4,905.5. The market is coming off its third straight week of gains.

OIL AND COMMODITIES: As the markets closed, the price of U.S. benchmark crude oil was down $1.31, about 2.8 percent, at $46.41 a barrel in trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Lower commodity prices helped pull down shares in oil companies and materials makers. Chevron shed $1.26, about 1.4 percent, to $90.03, the Dow's biggest decliner. Freeport-McMoRan gave up 41 cents, about 3.3 percent, to $12.03.

CHINA GROWTH? Data released Monday showed that China's economic growth decelerated in the latest quarter but relatively robust spending by Chinese consumers helped to avert a deeper downturn. The world's second-largest economy grew by 6.9 percent in the three months ended in September, down from the previous quarter's 7 percent and the slowest since early 2009 in the aftermath of the global crisis. Growth of 6.8 percent had been forecast by analysts.

OPRAH WEIGHS IN: Weight Watchers surged 105 percent at the close on news that Oprah Winfrey is paying about $43.2 million for a 10 percent stake in Weight Watchers and is joining the weight management company's board. Winfrey also agreed to endorse the company's programs and services, and to help promote the company. Weight Watchers' shares climbed $7.13 to close at $13.92.

BIG BANK'S SLUMP: Morgan Stanley slumped 4.8 percent at close after reporting a sharp drop in quarterly earnings as the bank's bond trading business weakened. The stock fell $1.63 to close at $32.32.


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