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The sector was also pressured late in the session as AT&T extended earlier losses after a report the company had discussed the idea of a merger with Time Warner during recent meetings. AT&T shares ended down 1.9 percent while Time Warner advanced 4.7 percent. "That being said, this is on really low expectations." Despite the big gain in AmEx shares, the financial sector closed down slightly, off 0.02 percent as property and casualty insurer Travelers dropped 6.1 percent after reporting a steep drop in profit.