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Stock drop on mixed earnings

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A four-day streak of record-high closes ended for the S&P 500 as falling oil prices hurt energy stocks and Caterpillar, a barometer of the global economy, posted weak earnings, as did Broadcom. The profit plunge discouraged investors and stalled a two-week surge in the stock market during which the S&P 500 gained 6%. ‘We need to let a little bit of air out of the balloon here,’ said Alec Young, at S&P Capital IQ. Energy stocks fell the most of the 10 industry sectors in the S&P 500 amid higher US supplies of crude and weak demand for fuel. It wasn’t all bad news from corporate America: Boeing surged after it raised its profit estimate.

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