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NEW YORK, July 15 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were little changed on Friday, and major indexes closed a third consecutive week of gains, on the back of strong economic data and an earnings season that is on track to confirm profit contraction bottomed earlier in the year.
Based on the latest available data, the Dow Jones industrial average ended up 8.43 points, or 0.05 percent, to 18,514.84, the S&P 500 lost 2.21 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,161.54 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 4.47 points, or 0.09 percent, to 5,029.59. (Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; Editing by Nick Zieminski)