NEW YORK – Stocks had a fitting end to a choppy July as prices seesawed their way to a narrowly mixed finish. The market still had its best month in a year.

Investors had an ambivalent response Friday to the government’s gross domestic product report, which showed that economic growth slowed in the April-June quarter. The Dow Jones industrial average fell almost 120 points in early trading, then ratcheted up and down until the close. The Dow ended down just a point, and the other big indexes had similarly small moves.

The day was much like the rest of July, which saw investors alternately buying on strong earnings reports and selling on weak economic numbers. The Dow rose 7.1 percent for the month. The Dow and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index both had their best months since July 2009 and their first winning months since this past April.

A repeat performance in August seemed unlikely due to the market’s current pessimism, especially since the bulk of second-quarter earnings reports are in. Many investors, uncertain about the where the market is heading, stayed on the sidelines for much of July or moved money into safer investments. Even on days when the Dow was up 100 or 300 points, trading volume was unusually low.

“It’s a very cautious environment today,” said Rob Lutts, president and CIO of Cabot Money Management. That caution, he said, is what leads investors to sell.

The Dow fell 1.22, or 0.01 percent, to 10,465.94. Its July gain was its best monthly advance since it rose 7.8 percent in July 2009.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 0.07, or 0.01 percent, to 1,101.60. It rose 6.9 percent for July, its best performance since it rose 7.4 percent in July 2009.

The Nasdaq composite index rose 3.01, or 0.1 percent, to 2,254.70.