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Stocks inch up as Amazon-Whole Foods deal weighs on grocers

A Wall Street sign near the New York

A Wall Street sign near the New York Stock Exchange on Sept. 30, 2008. Credit: AP / Mark Lennihan

Amazon’s $13.7 billion deal for Whole Foods sent grocery stores, big retailers, and food makers and distributors plunging Friday.

Energy companies rose while other stocks were little changed.

It’s rare for a single deal to have a big effect on the broader stock market, but Amazon’s agreement to buy Whole Foods Market did. Investors wondered if Amazon will do to grocery stores and supermarkets what it’s done to sellers of goods like clothing and office supplies: force them to make big changes or be supplanted.

Elsewhere, energy companies rose as oil futures bounced back from their lowest price this year and utilities and industrial and basic materials ground out modest gains.

Thanks to a late gain, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index inched up 0.69 points to 2,433.15. The Dow Jones industrial average added 24.38 points, or 0.1 percent, to a record high of 21,384.28. The Nasdaq composite fell 13.74 points, or 0.2 percent, to 6,151.76. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks shed 3.36 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,406.73.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose 28 cents to $44.74 a barrel in New York.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.16 percent from 2.17 percent. The yield on the 2-year Treasury note fell to 1.31 percent from 1.35 percent.

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