Stocks waver, a day after biggest rally in 2 years

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NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are closing mixed, a day after the market posted its biggest gain in two and a half years.

Another rise in applications for weekly unemployment benefits dampened the mood Thursday. Costco, Nordstrom and other retailers rose after reporting stronger sales.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 26 points, or 0.2 percent, to close 12,020.

The Dow soared 490 points Wednesday, its seventh-best gain on record, after central banks around the world slashed the cost of borrowing money as a way to shore up European banks.

The S&P 500 dropped 2 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,245. The Nasdaq rose 6 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,626.

Three stocks fell for every two that rose on the New York Stock Exchange. Trading volume was below average at 3.8 billion.