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Stock markets close nearly unchanged

August 17, 2011 |  1:45 pm

Stocks markets gave up their early gains to finish nearly unchanged Wednesday after some mixed earnings reports from U.S. companies.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up more than 120 points at one point Wednesday morning but ended the day up only 4.28 points, or 0.1%, at 11,410.21. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 1.12 points, or 0.1%, to 1,193.88.

The morning rise was fueled by better-than-expected earnings reports from Home Depot and Target.

The slump later in the day was led by Dell, which announced that demand for personal computers has slowed.

Investor concerns were also stoked by comments Wednesday by two Federal Reserve officials, who criticized the central bank's policy. Overall, though, trading was light as investors continued to recover from last week's volatility.

-- Nathaniel Popper

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