Stocks close slightly higher on earnings reports

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NEW YORK (AP) ? Stocks have closed modestly higher after companies reported earnings above expectations but gave mixed forecasts for the rest of this year.

The Dow Jones industrial average is up 4 points to 11,410. The S&P 500 is up 1, or 0.1 percent, to. 1,194 The Nasdaq is down 11, or 0.5 percent, to 2,511.

Target, Staples, Dell and others reported earnings for last quarter that were above analysts’ forecasts. Companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 are on track to report higher profits for a ninth straight quarter. But economic growth is weak, and corporate cost pressures are rising. That could pull down earnings.

Target and Staples both gave profit forecasts that were above Wall Street’s expectations, but Dell cut its prediction for revenue growth this year.