Updated from 4:32 p.m. EDT

The major indices in New York closed mixed on Thursday after a varied bag of economic data and earnings, and a bankruptcy filing for Chrysler, but they locked in solid gains for the month of April.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 17.61 points, or 0.2%, to 8168.12, while the S&P 500 slipped 0.83 points, or 0.1%, to 872.81. The Nasdaq added 5.36 points, or 0.3%, to 1717.30.

For the month, the Dow rose 7.3%, its best April since 2001. The S&P gained 9.4%, and the Nasdaq added 12.3%, also marking the strongest April advance for those indices in years.

The Dow and S&P had rallied out of the gate, but the indices lost momentum at midsession around the time that struggling automaker Chrysler said it will file for Chapter 11 and that it has arrived at a deal with European automaker Fiat.

Competing U.S. automakers General Motors ( GM) and Ford ( F) rose 6.1% and 9.7%, respectively, with GM leading the Dow. GM bondholders launched a counter-offer to GM's debt exchange proposal from earlier in the week. The new proposal would involve the swap of the bondholders' $27 billion in notes for 58% of the company and would eliminate government ownership.

Elsewhere, the World Health Organization raised its alert for the swine flu to a level 5, one below a pandemic, but investors' concern appeared to be offset by some optimism in the market. Stocks overseas were largely higher, with the FTSE 100 in London and the Dax in Frankfurt gaining 1.3% and 1.4%, respectively. In Asia, the Nikkei in Japan and Hang Seng in Hong Kong rose 3.9% and 3.8%.

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