US stocks settled lower on Friday after a slight pullback with the S&P 500 and Dow rounding out the week with slim losses. Pressure came from the technology, which saw losses of -0.67% and financials down -0.13%. Oil prices also rallied with crude up +2.67% at $56 a barrel.
The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 100 points, or -0.43%, to 23,358.24, while the S&P 500 index lost 6 points to 2,578.85. The NASDAQ index fell 10 points, or -0.15%, at 6,782.79. After a rally on Thursday, the S&P 500 and Dow average were on track for weekly gains between 0.13% and 0.15%.
However, Friday's performance saw the benchmarks end lower for the week -0.13% and -0.27% respectively. The NASDAQ Composite Index managed to eke out a slight gain of +0.47% for the week. Leading laggards on Friday were Intel down -2.23% and Wal-Mart which fell -2.16%. Winners were Nike up +3.42% and Verizon up +1.45%.
- Dow 23,358.24 -0.59%
- S&P 500 2,578.85 -0.26%
- NASDAQ 6,782.79 -0.15%
- Russell 2000 1,492.82 +0.40%
- NYSE Composite 12,302.90 -0.00%
- Gold 1,294.5 +1.28%
- Oil WTI $55.61 +2.67% (4:29PM EDT)
- 10-Year Treasury 2.345 +0.28%
Other individual shares generating news was Tesla pared gains and rose +0.82% at finish after unveiling on Thursday night a semi-autonomous electric big rig and a new version of the Roadster.
21st Century Fox rose +6.24% on reports Comcast and Verizon Communications are exploring bids to buy a big chunk of the Rupert Murdoch-built media empire. Comcast shares were down -2.45%, while Verizon was up +1.45%.
Hibbett Sports soared 15% as the sports retailer blew past estimates for its fiscal third quarter and raised guidance for the full year. But Foot Locker jumped 28% after the athletic footwear retailer reported fiscal third-quarter profit and sales that fell less than expected.
Political plays drive markets
Developments in both the Russia probe and Senate efforts with their tax plan are primary preoccupations according to Dow Jones. The Wall Street Journal reported that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team issued a subpoena to more than a dozen officials from Donald Trump's campaign in mid-October, asking them to hand over Russia-related documents.
Mueller is overseeing an investigation into whether Trump associates colluded with Russia to meddle in the 2016 presidential election. Both Moscow and Trump have denied any interference. The news pulled the dollar sharply lower, with the ICE Dollar Index falling -0.27% to 93.67 at close. Gold futures rose +1.58% to $1,294.5 an ounce, getting a boost from the weaker dollar.
Investors also continued to track developments in the Republican tax reform plan in Washington. The focus is now on the Senate, after the House of Representatives passed a sweeping bill to overhaul the tax code on Thursday. But the Republicans' proposed legislation has several steps to go, which analysts say could make the final tax deal very different from its current form.
"Indeed, the true test for the Tax Bill now comes in the Senate, where the GOP has a very thin lead and tricky task of appeasing both the fiscal hawks and conservatives within its more stricter budgetary framework. But with Congress now in Thanksgiving recess, we see limited positive catalysts for the dollar in the week ahead," said Viraj Patel, foreign exchange strategist at ING, in a note.