Just a blip? US stocks muster modest rebound after day of heavy losses

The Associated Press

Trader Kevin Lodewick works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014. Stocks are mixed on Wall Street after suffering big losses the day before. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

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Microsoft drew a muted response from investors after the tech giant named Satya Nadella as its new CEO. Founder Bill Gates is also stepping down as chairman and will become a technology adviser to the company. The news lowered shares 13 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $36.35.

Nine out of the 10 sectors in the S&P 500 posting gains.

Utilities were the laggard, with Dominion Resources leading the decline. Shares slid $1.27, or 2 percent, to $65.85.

The Dun & Bradstreet Corp posted the biggest decline in the S&P 500. The company shed $10.80, or 10 percent, to $95.58.

Most U.S. homebuilders were trading higher following a report by real estate data firm CoreLogic that showed U.S. home prices climbed 11 percent in December from a year earlier. Home prices slipped from November to December, the third consecutive monthly decline. Builder NVR was tops among the risers, adding $27.02, or 2.4 percent, to $1,164.02.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note climbed to 2.63 percent from 2.58 percent on Monday as investors sold bonds.

For most of the year, investors have bought bonds amid concern that U.S. growth is slowing after a strong fourth quarter, and because the Federal Reserve had reduced its own purchases of bonds.

The yield remains well below the 2.97 percent it clocked on Dec. 31. That could be good news for homebuyers and companies looking to borrow money.

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