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Midday Report: Oil Bounces Even as Inventories Climb; Choppy Trading

U.S. stocks inched higher after choppy early trading in which traders seemed unable to determine a direction after a days-long losing streak.

Stocks inched higher after choppy early trading in which traders seemed unable to determine a direction after a days-long losing streak. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has endured seven days of losses. The services sector continued to expand at a solid pace in July, according to the latest ISM Non-Manufacturing Index. The measure remained above the 50-level indicative of expansion, a sign the consumer continues to spend. Oil rebounded to $40 a barrel, despite a surprise increase in the number of barrels of crude in domestic inventories. Crude hit its lowest level since April on Tuesday over continued fears of a domestic supply glut, weaker demand and ballooning output overseas. AIG (AIG) rose after upping its buyback plans amid pressure to break itself up. The insurance firm raised its current repurchase program by $3 billion. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from Wall Street.