Major Averages Close Near Unchanged Mark

The U.S. stock market opened Thursday's trading session higher, but share prices fell throughout most of the session, finishing near the unchanged mark. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down a little more than 18 points to 13,326. The widely watched blue-chip average traded in a range between 13,326 and 13,428.

The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE:SPY) recorded a gain of 0.06 percent and closed at $143.36. Volume was light again as investors gear up for the third-quarter earnings season. Around 103 million SPY shares traded hands compared to a 3-month daily average of 121 million.

The PowerShares QQQ Trust ETF (NASDAQ:QQQ), which tracks the performance of the Nasdaq 100, fell 0.31 percent to $66.71. Volume was also lighter than normal in the QQQ with 28.5 million shares trading versus a 3 month average of 35 million.

Crude oil rose on the session despite lackluster risk sentiment in equities. NYMEX crude futures added 1.33 percent to $92.46 while Brent contracts climbed 1.39 percent to $115.92. The United States Oil Fund ETF (NYSE:USO) registered a gain of 1.33 percent and closed at $34.29.

Gold was also slightly higher on the day, but silver futures fell. COMEX gold added 0.20 percent to $1,768.70 while silver lost 0.29 percent to $34.010. The heavily traded SPDR Gold Trust ETF (NYSE:GLD) rose 0.28 percent to close at $171.32.

Money flowed into U.S. Treasuries for the second day, with the iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (NYSE:TLT) adding 0.69 percent to $123.66. The yield on the 10-Year Note fell less than a basis point to 1.67 percent.

The U.S. dollar was slightly lower on Thursday. The PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish ETF (NYSE:UUP), which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of foreign currencies, lost 0.16 percent to $21.86. The closely watched EUR/USD pair was last up 0.64 percent to $1.2930.

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