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Markets Right Now: US stock indexes drift to a mixed close

The latest on developments in financial markets (All times local):

4:00 p.m.

Solid gains in health care companies made up for losses in other sectors, leaving the market close to flat by the end of trading.

Health care stocks continued a strong recent run Thursday after the Senate released its proposal to revamp how Americans get medical care. Gilead Sciences rose 4.4 percent.

The price of crude oil posted its only gain so far this week, a day after sinking to its lowest price since August.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index slipped 1 point to 2,434.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 12 points, or 0.1 percent, to 21,397. The Nasdaq edged up 2 points to 6,233.

More stocks rose than fell on the New York Stock Exchange.

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11:45 a.m.

Stocks shook off an early stumble and were modestly higher in midday trading, led by gains in health care companies.

Johnson & Johnson gained 1.4 percent Thursday, and UnitedHealth Group rose 1.6 percent.

The price of oil rose 1.4 percent, giving some relief to energy companies after weeks of declines. Hess rose 2.2 percent.

Oracle soared 9 percent after the business software maker reported a strong quarter.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 4 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,439.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 34 points, or 0.2 percent, to 21,444. The Nasdaq edged up 4 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,238.

Bond prices didn’t move much. The yield on the 10-year Treasury held steady at 2.15 percent.

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9:35 a.m.

Stocks are mostly lower in early trading on Wall Street as energy stocks stabilize following a big drop the day before.

Banks and phone companies fell more than the rest of the market in early trading Thursday.

The price of oil rose about 0.5 percent.

American Airlines rose 3.2 percent following news that state-owned Qatar Airways is attempting to buy a 10 percent stake in the company.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 1 point to 2,433.

The Dow Jones industrial average was flat at 21,410. The Nasdaq composite fell 8 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,224.

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