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Stocks Close Little Changed

Also in the M&A realm, a report out of France said that Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) and Plavix marketing partner Sanofi-Aventis (SNY) might be close to announcing a merger.

Shares of Bristol-Myers rose 4.7% to $27.43. Sanofi-Aventis was down 1.7% at $44.57.

On the research front, A.G Edwards upgraded its ratings on Home Depot (HD) and Lowe's (LOW) to buy from hold. Home Depot was lower by 0.1%, while Lowe's finished with a gain of 0.3%.

Commodities were mainly weaker. Crude oil futures fell $1.41 to close at $54.01 a barrel, and natural gas was off 26 cents to $6.91 per million British thermal units. Gold was lower by $1.50 at $643.20 an ounce, and silver was down 12 cents to finish at $13.25 an ounce.

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