U.S. stocks squeaked out gains to close fractionally higher on Thursday as subdued corporate earnings weighed on investors' sentiment. The S&P 500 edged up less than a point to close at 2,082.78 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 18.15 points, or 0.1%, to finish at 17,926.43. The Nasdaq shed 1.53 points to close at 4,945.89. Morgan Stanley analysts said expectations for first-quarter earnings are fairly modest with nine out of 10 sectors in the S&P 500 recording a drop in consensus estimate.
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