Stocks end the day mixed

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Buying came in spurts and then often quickly evaporated as investors fretted that the economy is either in a recession or headed for one. Investors were gravitating toward big-name stocks seen as safer bets -- tech and small-cap stocks ended the day with declines.

Wall Street is living up to predictions that trading will remain volatile as investors try to test whether the market has formed a bottom after this month's huge declines.

The Dow Jones industrials are up 172 at the 8,691 level while the Nasdaq composite index is down 0.73 percent. The Standard & Poor's 500 index has a gain of 1.3 percent.

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