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Stocks ended mixed on Wednesday despite strong economic data and optimism over the possibility of a cease-fire in Ukraine. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed unofficially 10 points higher, but the the S&P 500 fell 1 point and the Nasdaq lost 25 points, mainly due to Apple stock falling 4 percent. "I think a lot of people are looking at their gains this year and taking a little off the table," said Kim Forrest, senior equity analyst at Fort Pitt Capital. "Even though the Ukraine situation seems to be coming off the boil, investors don't seem to be happy about the data we got today." Economic data was positive: July factory orders rose, auto sales for August were strong and the Fed's Beige Book found modest economic expansion. But investors may have been looking ahead to Thursday when the European Central Bank holds its monthly policy meeting and may announce a bond buying program. "Markets have priced in some quantitative easing from the ECB, so they may be disappointed." said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James.
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- Evelyn Cheng, CNBC.com