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New York (AFP) — U.S. shares traded fairly flat early Tuesday, appearing to continue taking a breather that started last Friday after a solid one-month run.

But biotech shares got a boost from Vertex Pharmaceuticals (+40.6 percent) after it reported promising results in tests of two drugs for treating cystic fibrosis.

Thirty minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 13.52 points (0.08 percent) to 16,923.74.

The broad-based S&P 500 slipped 1.32 (0.07 percent) to 1,961.29, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite gained 5.47 (0.13 percent) to 4,374.14.

“By and large, markets look to be consolidating some of their recent gains as the end of the second quarter approaches,” said Patrick O’Hare of Briefing.com.

Facebook led the major companies with a 1.6 percent gain, while Philip Morris slipped 1.6 percent.

On the Dow, UnitedHealth was the biggest gainer, up 0.5 percent.

Blackberry eased 2.2 percent after three days of gains that came on an improvement in the struggling smartphone maker’s finances.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year U.S/ Treasury fell to 2.60 percent from 2.62 percent, while the 30-year dropped to 3.42 percent from 3.45 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.

AFP Photo / Spencer Platt

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

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