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February 26, 2014 -- 4:30 p.m. - 02/26/14

Stocks gave back most of their gains to end the session little changed. The Dow rose 19 points to 16198. The S&P 500 failed to hold its advance above its all-time high for a third day, closing up less than a point at 1845. The NASDAQ gained 4 points to 4292.

The major averages finished modestly higher following positive data on housing and earnings by retailers. Builders PulteGroup rose 2.8% to $21.25 and D.R. Horton increased 2.9% to $24.85 after a report showed new home sales unexpectedly jumped 9.6% in January. Shares of Lowe's advanced 5.4% to $50.72 and Target climbed 7% to $60.49 after both posted better-than-expected quarterly results.

Materials were the best performing sector in the S&P 500 today. Metal producers paced the group's advance with Alcoa up 3.7% to $12.05 and U.S. Steel gaining 2.2% to $24.22. Energy was the worst performing group on the session. First Solar dropped 9.1% to $52.74 on its disappointing earnings release. Chesapeake Energy fell 4.9% to $25.61 after reporting profits below consensus estimates.

Breadth on the NYSE was positive by 13-8 on issues and 9-7 on volume. Composite volume on the NYSE totaled 3.7 billion shares. Advancers on the NASDAQ topped decliners by an 11-7 margin on issues and 4-3 on volume.

Treasuries rallied after today's $35 billion auction of 5-year notes drew stronger-than-expected demand. Benchmark 10-year notes were up 11/32 to yield 2.66%.

This information is obtained from sources and data considered to be reliable, but its accuracy and completeness is not guaranteed by Wells Fargo Advisors.Wells Fargo Advisors is the trade name used by two separate registered broker-dealers: Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC and Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, LLC, Members SIPC, non-bank affiliates of Wells Fargo & Company.


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