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Stock Market Today: Markets Close Mixed to End the Week

The major indices went their different ways but were little changed Friday.

Stocks were mixed in choppy trading today as investors weighed the odds of additional stimulus and the latest point of downbeat economic data.

The consumer sentiment index fell to 73.2 for July, well below expectations for a reading of 78.6. At the same time, the market is anticipating another round of financial measures to bolster the precarious economy.

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Meanwhile, shares in Netflix (NFLX) tumbled 6.5% after the company forecast slower-than-expected subscriber growth in the third quarter, but the selloff didn't bleed into the rest of the technology sector.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Friday slipped 0.2% to close at 26,671.9, while the S&P 500 edged up 0.3% to 3,224.7.

Additional Stimulus Is Key

Another round of stimulus could give the bull market another boost, but until policy makers decide, a number of analysts expect stocks to trade sideways.

If the U.S. does extend programs like expanded unemployment benefits and Paycheck Protection Program loans, there's good reason to think nimble growth stocks could pace a rising market. It could also give a boost to select beaten-down industrial names.

But what's an investor to do if stocks continue to trade sideways regardless of what the federal government decides? Blue-chip dividend stocks with outsized yields can provide positive returns even if their share-price gains remain subdued -- but they're not all created equal. See which high-yield Dow dividend stocks analysts favor for this market.

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