April was coming off a strong first quarter, with improving economic data and employment growth supporting markets, but was stuck in sideways trading as mixed news weighed on equities.

The markets, though, bounced higher in mid-April on speculation that Russia and Suadi Arabia would cooperate in a production freeze, but the plans eventually fell through.

Weakening economic data, including lower sales and declining consumer sentiment, also kept a lid on market gains.

Toward the end of April, earnings disappointments pressured the stock market. Moreover, traders remained wary as the Federal Reserve kept rate steady in light of soft economic growth.

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