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Stocks ease below record highs ahead of jobs news

  • Wall-Street-616

    Trader Richard Scardino works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Thursday, April 3, 2014. Stocks indexes are edging higher as investors become more optimistic about the outlook for the U.S. economy. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

    <ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Wall-Street-617

    Trader Michael Zicchinolfi, left, and specialist Frank Masiello work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Thursday, April 3, 2014. Stocks indexes are edging higher as investors become more optimistic about the outlook for the U.S. economy. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

    <ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW YORK — Stocks are turning lower in midday trading after a four-day advance that brought the market to record highs.

Traders are looking ahead to the government’s monthly survey of the job market, which will be released Friday. They hope to see more signs that the economy is picking up after an unusually cold winter.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell three points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,887 as of midday today.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 12 points, or 0.1 percent, to 16,559. The Nasdaq composite lost 25 points, or 0.6 percent, to 4,251.

Barnes & Noble plunged 13 percent after Liberty Media said it was selling most of its stake in the bookseller.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.78 percent.

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