(Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks fluctuated, after the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dropped three straight days, as investors watched federal budget negotiations and weighed economic data for clues on the timing of Federal Reserve stimulus cuts.

Hewlett-Packard Co. and Microsoft Corp. added at least 1.5 percent as technology stocks advanced. CF Industries Holdings Inc. jumped 10 percent after the fertilizer producer said its considering partnership structures. Sears Holdings Corp. plunged 8 percent after Edward Lampert, the hedge-fundmanager who for the past eight years tried to turn around the company, cut his stake to below 50 percent.

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