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US stocks mixed; Apple weighs on Nasdaq

US stocks were mostly higher in early trade Tuesday, with the Dow and the S&P 500 extending seven days of gains, while the Nasdaq sank under pressure from tech heavyweight Apple.

After opening in the red, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 30.97 points (0.21 percent) at 14,478.26 after an hour of trade (1430 GMT).

The broad-market S&P 500 edged up 0.5 point (0.03 percent) to 1,556.72 and the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite dropped 6.35 points (0.20 percent) to 3,246.52.

With no major economic data on the calendar, "the major averages could take a breather today as investors look to take profits following a recent string of gains," Wells Fargo Advisors said in a market note.

Tech heavyweight Apple fell 1.0 percent to $433.32 after a price cut from analyst Jefferies, to $420.

Pharmaceutical giant Merck led the Dow gainers, up 3.7 percent, after announcing that regulators approved the continuation of its clinical study of the cholesterol drug Vytorin.

Dow member Boeing rose 1.9 percent amid reports Irish airline Ryanair will announce an order for up to 200 aircraft at a combined list price of $18 billion.

ExxonMobil added 0.7 percent after OPEC left its 2013 global forecast for crude-oil demand unchanged.

Yum Brands jumped 2.5 percent after the restaurant giant reported same-store sales fell about 2.0 percent in China in February, not as much as analysts expected.

BlackBerry gave back 3.1 percent from a 14.1 percent gain Monday after it announced the US launch date for its new Z10 smartphone, March 22.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.03 percent from 2.06 percent late Monday, while the 30-year yield dropped to 3.23 percent from 3.25 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.