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Mixed finish, but up for the week

NEW YORK – The stock market looks tired.

Stocks closed mixed for a second day after investors grew pessimistic about the market’s ability to keep its rally going.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 9 points Friday. It had been up as much as 68 after European leaders announced a plan to help Greece with its debts. A similar advance and retreat occurred Thursday.

There wasn’t a clear reason for stocks’ retrenchment Friday. But analysts said the market does need a break from a climb that has now gone on for two months with few interruptions. The Dow has advanced 17 of the last 21 days.

“The market is extremely vulnerable to a pullback,” said Christian Bendixen, director of technical research at Bay Crest Partners in New York.

Even with the mixed finish Friday, major stock indexes still managed to rise for a fourth straight week.

For the week, the Dow is up 1 percent. It hasn’t risen for four straight weeks since August.

Bond prices rose, pushing down yields. Weak demand at the government’s latest auctions for Treasury notes sent prices tumbling and interest rates sharply higher during the week.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell to 3.85 percent from 3.89 percent late Thursday. The 10-year note is often used as a benchmark for interest rates on consumer loans.

The coming week is a short one for investors. Markets will be closed for Good Friday. But there will be plenty of economic data to digest, including consumer confidence figures on Tuesday and a manufacturing report on Thursday. The government will release its March employment report on Friday, but investors will have to wait to Monday to trade on the news.

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