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Stocks Finish Mixed in Slow Session

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks finished mixed on thin volumes Monday as traders looked ahead to the Jackson Hole, Wyo. economic summit this coming weekend, hoping for hints about the timetable for further monetary stimulus.

Both Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi are speaking at the symposium and investors are anxious to see if either will use the stage to lay the groundwork for more accommodation.

Technology was a bright spot for the market with Apple (AAPL) rising nearly 2% and reaching another all-time high after a victory in a patent lawsuit.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost more than 33 points, or 0.25%, to close at 13,125. The blue-chip index, which is still up 7.42% so far in 2012, has now fallen in five of the past six sessions.

Breadth was negative within the Dow with decliners ahead of advancers, 20 to 10. The biggest percentage losers were Alcoa (AA), Bank of America (BAC), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and IBM (IBM).

Blue-chip winners included Cisco (CSCO), McDonald's (MCD) and United Technologies (UTX).

The S&P 500 dipped less than a point, or 0.05%, to settle at 1410.44, while the Nasdaq rose more than 3 points, or 0.11%, to finish at 3073.

The broad market stalled last week despite the S&P 500 visiting a multi-year high in intraday action, opening the debate on what will be necessary to drive the index another leg higher.

"In aggregate, U.S. stocks remain 10% below their Oct. 2007 all-time high, but from one perspective the equity markets have fully climbed the proverbial wall of worry," said Wells Fargo analysts in commentary published Monday. "Specifically, on Aug. 15, 2012 on a total return basis, the S&P 500 Index reached the point of having fully recovered all of its losses experienced during the financial market crisis and resulting recession."

Apple shares got a boost after a U.S. jury on Friday ordered Samsung to pay Apple a minimum of $1.05 billion in damages for violating a number of the iPhone and iPad maker's patents, while dismissing Samsung's claims against Apple. Earlier in the session, the stock hit a new all-time peak of $682.07, propelling the Nasdaq 100 large-cap index towards a 12-year closing high.

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DOW 17,810.06 +91.06 0.51%
S&P 500 2,063.50 +10.75 0.52%
NASDAQ 4,712.97 +11.1030 0.24%

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