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Business

Stocks make strong gains for the week

Mixed economic reports held the stock market to only modest moves Friday, but gains for the week were strong.

Uneven figures on retail sales and consumer confidence gave investors little new insight into the economy.

The reports weren't enough to propel the market higher a day after the Standard & Poor's 500 index closed at its highest level in 17 months. That index slipped Friday, but the Dow Jones industrial average tacked on nearly 13 points.

Stocks had been modestly higher at the start of trading Friday after a surprising increase in February retail sales. A weaker report on consumer sentiment disappointed traders. The preliminary Reuters / University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for March fell to 72.5 from 73.6 in late February.

The Dow rose 12.85 points, or 0.1 percent, to 10,624.69. The broader S&P 500 index slipped 0.25, or less than 0.1 percent, to 1,149.99. The Nasdaq composite index fell 0.80, or less than 0.1 percent, to 2,367.66. It stands at an 18-month high.

For the week, the Dow rose 0.6 percent, the S&P 500 index rose 1 percent and the technology-dominated Nasdaq climbed 1.8 percent. - AP

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