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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Wall Street Update: Volatile stocks closed near flatline

Stocks closed near the flatline Tuesday after a choppy trading session as U.S. oil prices seesawed and investors looked ahead to Fed Chair Janet Yellen's testimony.

The Dow fell nearly 150 points shortly after the open but briefly turned positive. The blue chips index briefly rose 100 points in late-afternoon trading, with Home Depot contributing the most gains.

The S&P 500 dropped nearly 1 percent at the open before briefly turning positive. The index held lower for most of the afternoon but briefly tried for gains as energy traded off its session lows.

The Nasdaq composite seesawed, opening down more than 1 percent, before reversing losses and gaining about 1 percent. In afternoon trading, however, the index fell more than 1 percent before trying for gains.

Investors also kept an eye on oil prices Tuesday. WTI futures plunged 5.89 percent, or $1.75, to trade at $27.94 a barrel in choppy trading. Earlier, the International Energy Agency said that demand for oil will "ease back considerably" in 2016. U.S. crude, however, pared losses slightly in after-hours, holding above $28.

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