Stocks slip, ending a turbulent quarter on a quiet note


NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are closing mostly lower in a relatively muted ending to a turbulent quarter.

Most major indexes ended the quarter with slight gains Thursday after roaring back in March from a big deficit in February.

So-called “defensive” stocks like utilities led the turnaround. Investors favor those companies for their high dividends and ability to withstand downturns.

Another haven investment, gold, also did well. Gold soared 16 percent in the quarter, its biggest quarterly gain since 1986.

The Dow Jones industrial average edged down 31 points, or 0.2 percent, to 17,685.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index slipped four points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,059. The Nasdaq composite edged rose a fraction to 4,869.

The Dow and S&P 500 ended up slightly for the quarter. The Nasdaq is still down.