NEW YORK -- Stocks struggled to a mixed close on Wall Street today, giving up an early rally after the government said the unemployment situation was better than many economists had expected.
Stock indexes initially rose, but the gains were mostly gone by afternoon.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 35 points to 13,610 today, after being up as much as 86 points earlier.
The Standard & Poor's 500 fell half a point to 1,461 and the Nasdaq composite gave up 13 points to 3,136.
The unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent, its first dip below 8 percent in nearly four years. The decline was bigger than economists had expected.
Rising stocks outnumbered falling ones four-to-three on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was slightly below the recent average at 3.1 billion shares.
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