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Stocks close little changed after record close Friday

The New York Stock Exchange on Dec. 21,

The New York Stock Exchange on Dec. 21, 2016. Photo Credit: AP / Mark Lennihan

Stocks hardly budged Monday as smaller firms and retailers rose while health care companies and banks declined. Chemical and mining companies rose as the dollar weakened.

Bond yields slipped, sending banks lower and high-dividend stocks like utilities and household goods companies higher.

“The fundamental picture for investors seems to be sort of strangely perfect, with improving fundamentals and a central bank with its foot that was only weakly on the gas coming off the gas,” said Katie Nixon, chief investment officer for Wealth Management at Northern Trust.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 0.13 points to 2,459.14. The Dow Jones industrial average shed 8.02 points to 21,629.72. The Nasdaq composite gained 1.97 points to 6,314.43. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose 2.79 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,431.60.

The S&P 500, Dow and Russell 2000 all closed at record highs Friday. The Nasdaq has rallied almost 4 percent in the last seven days, and it’s recovered almost all of the losses it sustained when technology companies went into a slump in early June.

The dollar has been declining this year as investors have concluded the federal government isn’t close to any kind of infrastructure spending package, which would strengthen the U.S. economy.

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