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Stocks edge up despite mixed economic news

NEW YORK — Stocks edged higher after zigzagging in subdued trading Monday on mixed reports about the economy and corporate earnings.

The modest moves in the market’s major indicators belie larger forces at work: Investors aren’t dumping stocks, even in the face of downbeat news.

Stocks are steady in part because many investors aren’t retreating for fear of missing another rally. Even earlier this month, when a spring rally was still stalled, investors likely would have looked to the news out Monday as reason to sell.

Analysts said the small moves were a good sign for the market. Brian F. Reynolds, chief market strategist at WJB Capital Group, said investors were surprised by the strength of corporate earnings reports in the past two weeks and are adjusting their outlooks.

Investors have been buying stocks as companies from AT&T Inc. to chip maker Intel Corp. post earnings that are far stronger than analysts had predicted.

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