U.S. stocks closed little changed Thursday after a high-ranking European Central Bank official dismissed rumors of scaling back easing measures. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ticked down 12.53 points, or less than 0.1%, to close at 18,268.50, weighed down by big declines in American Express Co. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. . The S&P 500 Index advanced 1.04 points, or less than 0.1%, to finish at 2,160.77, led by gains in the materials and tech sector. The Nasdaq Composite index slipped 9.17 points, or 0.2%, to close at 5,306.85. On Thursday, European Central Bank Vice President Vitor Constancio dismissed reports that the central bank was discussing a taper of its bond-buying program.
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