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Stocks well off highs, Nasdaq struggles for gains

U.S. stocks traded mostly higher Friday, amid a rally in oil prices, as the yen held near highs not seen against the U.S. dollar since October 2014.

The major averages came well off session highs in late-morning trade as the yen temporarily reversed earlier weakness to trade stronger against the dollar. Oil also briefly trimmed earlier gains.

"We were on an epic run higher and this is the pullback we get?" said John Caruso, senior market strategist at RJO Futures.

The Japanese yen traded little changed from highs seen earlier this week, trading near 108.4 against the U.S. dollar as of 1:03 p.m. ET. The yen recently hit fresh highs against the greenback going back to October 2014, putting pressure on stocks.

The U.S. dollar index traded lower with the euro above $1.140.

"Certainly yesterday we traded with the yen strengthening and today we're doing it again," said Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at The Lindsey Group.

The yen is "very symbolic. It's a sign a central bank is losing control. They're losing control of markets. Markets are losing faith in their abilities," he said.

The Nasdaq composite held mildly lower as Facebook traded more than 2.5 percent lower and the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB) briefly declined more than 1 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average traded about 45 points higher after earlier adding more than 150 points. UnitedHealth and Nike were the greatest contributors to declines in the Dow, while Boeing and Chevron were the top contributor to gains.

Traders also noted some pressure on stocks after several downward revisions to first-quarter GDP estimates following...


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