Stocks mostly lower at the close

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NEW YORK (AP) Stocks closed mostly lower Wednesday after an up-and-down day of trading as energy companies and retailers dragged the market lower.

A steep drop in the price of oil Wednesday pulled the energy sector lower. Devon Energy slumped 3.9 percent.

Benchmark U.S. crude fell 2.9 percent.

Home improvement retailers did poorly. Lowe's sank 4.5 percent and Home Depot gave back 1.1 percent.

Several big tech companies rose. Facebook climbed 1.9 percent and Microsoft increased 1.5 percent.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell a fraction of a point to 2,629.

The Dow Jones industrial average gave back 39 points, or 0.2 percent, to 24,140.

The Nasdaq composite added 14 points, or 0.2 percent, to 6,776.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.32 percent.