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Stocks end high, but uncertainty lingers

NEW YORK — Stocks ended higher but well off their best levels of the day as volatility continued to tug at the market.

The market has been volatile in recent days as investors try to determine whether the bets they’ve been placing on a rebound in the economy over the past several months are still sound.

The worry is that the pace of recovery the market has been counting on may be hard to maintain. The government reported 3.5 percent growth in third-quarter GDP last week but much of that growth came from government spending. Likewise many companies are reporting stronger than expected earnings, but many of those gains came from cost-cutting instead of higher sales.

Stocks had posted their biggest losses in four months on Friday after rising sharply a day earlier on the stronger-than-expected GDP figures. Friday’s losses helped send the Standard & Poor’s 500 index into the red for October, breaking a seven-month streak of gains.

Even with the S&P 500’s 2 percent loss in October, the index is still up 53.2 percent since hitting a 12-year low in March.

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