Stocks Close Lower on Last Trading Day of 2017, But S&P 500 Posts Best Year Since 2013

Stocks ended lower Friday, the last trading day of the year, but the S&P 500 still posted its best year since 2013.

Telecommunications led seven sectors lower, while consumer staples were the top gainers. The Dow lost 118 points, the S&P 500 shed 0.52 percent, and the Nasdaq lost 0.67 percent.

But the S&P gained about 20 percent this year, with technology and consumer discretionary the top performers. Only energy and telecommunications have declined this year.

Stocks opened higher but struggled to hold opening gains. The Nasdaq underperformed the major U.S. indexes as two of the largest names in the index, Apple and Amazon, fell.

Goldman Sachs fell more than 1 percent and had the greatest negative impact in the Dow. The company disclosed in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that the financial giant expects fourth-quarter earnings to decrease by about $5 billion, primarily due to repatriation provisions in the new U.S. tax law President Donald Trump signed Friday.

The law requires companies to repatriate, or bring back, foreign earnings, beginning in 2018, with the option of paying taxes on those earnings over eight years. The special one-time tax rate is 8 percent for illiquid assets and 15.5 percent for cash.

The new law also cuts the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent. Stocks have soared in anticipation of the stimulative effects of the tax cut.

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: CNBC, Evelyn Chang