U.S. stock indexes edged lower Friday afternoon on the final day of trading for 2017. Losses by technology and financial companies outweighed gains by consumer products makers and industrials stocks. Oil prices were headed higher. Trading volume was light ahead of the New Year’s holiday. Despite the market slide, stocks were on track to close the year with strong gains.
KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index slipped 3 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,684 as of 1:34 p.m. Eastern Time. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 28 points, or 0.1 percent, to 24,808. The Nasdaq fell 13 points, or 0.2 percent, to 6,936. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 1 point, or 0.1 percent, to 1,547.
THE QUOTE: The modest market dip on light trading likely reflects some investors opting to pocket some gains ahead of the New Year’s Day holiday, said J.J. Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade.
“I’m thinking there’s a little bit of profit-taking as we get into the year-end and people start thinking about where to establish new positions,” he said.
TECHNOLOGY STUMBLES: KLA-Tencor was among the technology sector’s big decliners. The stock dropped $1.85, or 1.7 percent, to $106.
TAXING LAW: Goldman Sachs Group shares declined after the investment bank said the newly-passed U.S. tax law will reduce its 2017 earnings by about $5 billion. The stock slipped 50 cents to $256. Other big banks were down as part of a broader slide in financial stocks.
NO DEAL: Bonanza Creek Energy slumped 7.2 percent after SandRidge Energy called off its bid to buy the oil and gas company. Bonanza slid $2.14 to $27.51. SandRidge jumped $1.41, or 7.4 percent, to $20.56.
DISAPPOINTING OUTLOOK: Adtran slid 13.9 percent after the networking equipment maker cut its forecasts for the fourth quarter and said revenue in the first quarter will be lower than analysts expected. The stock shed $3.10 to $19.15.
BIG GAINERS: Tobacco companies were moving higher along with other consumer-products companies. Philip Morris International rose $1.42, or 1.4 percent, to $106.23. Altria Group added 62 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $71.89.
BUYOUT BUZZ: TiVo surged 13.4 percent after TheStreet.com reported that private equity firms are interested in buying the digital video recording company for at least $20 a share. The stock added $1.88 to $15.88.
OIL & GAS: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 45 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $60.29 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, gained 52 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $66.68 per barrel in London. The price of natural gas continued to rise in response to the harsh winter weather gripping a large swath of the U.S. It gained 5 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $2.96 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Despite the big gain in oil and gas prices, energy stocks were mixed. National Oilwell Varco rose 55 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $36.04, while Range Resources slid 38 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $17.23.
“Just like stocks right now, the futures have a pretty light volume,” Kinahan said. “We need some real volumes for people to say, ’OK, this is real.”
BOND YIELDS: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.41 percent from 2.43 percent late Thursday.
CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 112.61 yen from 112.87 yen on Thursday. The euro strengthened to $1.2022 from $1.1952.
BITCOIN: The price of bitcoin was up 0.8 percent to $14,547 as of 1:30 p.m. ET, according to the tracking site CoinDesk. Bitcoin futures on the Cboe Futures Exchange picked up 7.1 percent to $14,730. The virtual currency has been highly volatile in recent weeks, hitting a record high before sliding sharply last week.
MARKETS OVERSEAS: Major stock indexes in Europe finished mixed. Britain’s FTSE 100 climbed 0.9 percent, hitting a record on the close of a shortened trading day. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 each declined 0.5 percent. In Asia, most markets finished with modest gains. Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed 0.1 percent lower, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gained 0.2 percent.
Source: Associated Press