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Stocks close modestly higher on retail reports

NEW YORK — Stocks have ended a seesaw day with a modest advance after investors found some pluses in the day’s retail earnings reports.

There was little to motivate investors a day after a stream of improving economic numbers restored some of their enthusiasm for stocks and sent the Dow Jones industrial average up 103 points. But they found some positives in retail earnings.

Target Corp. missed analysts’ forecasts for its second quarter revenue and offered a muted outlook for sales. But the company said it hopes to offset weak sales with higher sales of groceries and its new discounts for credit card holders.

The Dow rose 9, or 0.1 percent, to 10,415. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 1, or 0.2 percent, to 1,094. The Nasdaq composite index rose 6, or 0.3 percent, to 2,215.

Gainers were ahead of losers by 3 to 2 on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was again extremely light at 922 million.