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Stocks close mixed; all eyes on Europe

U.S. stocks rose Thursday after France and Germany said they would press ahead with work on solving the euro zone debt crisis despite setbacks that meant the details might not be settled at a weekend European Union summit.

France and Germany jointly confirmed euro zone leaders will discuss a solution at a weekend summit.

Earlier, a German media report that Germany had not ruled out postponing Sunday's summit poured more cold water on optimism over the weekend meeting of EU leaders in Brussels.

The news out of Europe kept investors on their toes, and markets bouncing from one direction to another. Worries that the region's debt problems could cause another global recession have been at the forefront for months.

"There is still a lot left that they need to decide on and sort out. We still don't know how this is going to be structured and how much of this safety net will be replenished," said Bryant Evans, portfolio manager at Cozad Asset Management in Champaign, Illinois.

The Dow Jones industrial average ended up 34.16 points, or 0.32 percent, at 11,541.78. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index ended up 5.51 points, or 0.46 percent, at 1,215.39. The Nasdaq Composite Index closed down 5.42 points, or 0.21 percent, at 2,598.62.

U.S. Treasury prices turned down on the joint statement from France and Germany. Benchmark 10-year notes erased early gains and fell 7/32 point in price to yield 2.18 percent.

Citing sources from both the center-right coalition of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and from her government, German newspaper Die Welt said the possible delay was due to stalled negotiations on the possible leveraging of the euro zone bailout fund.