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Stocks ease below record highs ahead of jobs news

Thursday - 4/3/2014, 5:00pm  ET

Trader Richard Scardino works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Thursday, April 3, 2014. Stocks indexes are edging higher as investors become more optimistic about the outlook for the U.S. economy. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are closing lower for the first time in five days as traders look ahead to a key report on the U.S. job market.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell two points, or 0.1 percent, to close at 1,888 Thursday. The index closed at an all-time high a day earlier.

The Dow Jones industrial edged down half a point to 16,572. The Nasdaq composite fell 38 points, or 0.9 percent, to 4,237.

Barnes & Noble plunged 14 percent after Liberty Media said it was selling most of its stake in the bookseller.

The S&P's index of biotechnology stocks fell 1.6 percent, dragging down health care stocks.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.79 percent.

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