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Retailers rise again, but tech leads other stocks lower

NEW YORK (AP)  Retailers and smaller U.S. companies jumped again Friday as they continued to report strong third-quarter results, but technology companies and other big U.S. corporations couldn't add to the previous day's gains.

A slew of retailers including discount chain Ross Stores, shoe store Foot Locker and clothing companies Gap and Abercrombie & Fitch soared following strong results or forecasts. Wal-Mart helped kick off a retail rally a day ago. Technology, health care and industrial companies slumped. On Thursday they led stocks to their biggest gain in two months.

Investors have liked what they've seen from retailers the last two days. Invesco Global Market Strategist Kristina Hooper said the companies are giving a double dose of good news. Consumers are spending more, and there are signs some companies are figuring out how to survive in a world where more and more sales are made online.

"Businesses are starting to evolve and alter their models and may be able to survive quite well in very changed circumstances," she said. "This is only the beginning of what they're going to need to do to stay competitive."

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 6.79 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,578.85. The Dow Jones industrial average gave up 100.12 points, or 0.4 percent, to 23,358.24. The Nasdaq composite dipped 10.50 points, or 0.2 percent, to 6,782.79 after it closed at a record high Thursday. 

The Russell 2000 index of smaller and more U.S.-focused stocks climbed 5.94 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,492.82. Most of the companies on the New York Stock Exchange rose.

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