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Closing Bell: Stocks Close Out a Strong September

Stocks finished trading mixed.

Stocks finished this quarter's last trading session mixed as investors prepare for the historically volatile October trading period. The Dow Jones Industrial Average flirted with the green all day, closing right around zero. The S&P 500 was up close to 0.3% after hitting an intraday record, while the Nasdaq also continued off an intraday record to rise around 0.6%. The Dow has been the biggest gainer this month. The S&P 500 finished its sixth-straight month in the green.

Volkswagen (VLKAY) shares were lower Friday after the world's biggest carmaker said it's taking a $3 billion hit to third quarter earnings. The loss is linked to Volkswagen's plan to buy back diesel engine cars it sold during its emissions scandal. The company said settlements have been "far more technically complex and time consuming" than originally anticipated.

Overall auto sales for the month of September are set to reach the highest level so far in 2017, according to a report from J.D. Power and LMC Automotive. The anticipated record sales come as Americans who lost cars in Hurricanes Harvey and Irma continue replacing them. Strong September sales could offset a broader sales slowdown that had taken hold this year.

KB Home (KBH) stock rose Friday following a better-than-expected third quarter. Earnings of 51 cents a share beat by a nickel, while revenue jumped nearly 25% and came in $20 million above consensus. The good news comes after KB Homes CEO Jeffrey Mezger got into a highly publicized feud with comedian Kathy Griffin earlier this week.

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