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Snapshot: Stocks eke out small gains, led by tech

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Big indexes eked out small gains as an upturn in tech stocks, led by Apple, outweighed weaknesses elsewhere. A sharp rise in Treasury yields — the 10-year note hit 2.72%, close to a two-year high — lifted financial firms following signs Europe’s recession is easing. Higher interest rates could help banks and others generate better profit margins. But builders’ stocks slid on concern that mortgage rates will climb. Stocks of utilities that pay big dividends also fell; they have been slumping as yields on Treasurys rise. Airline stocks slumped after the US challenged the proposed merger of US Airways and American Airlines as anticompetitive.

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