Mar­ket lifts on quiet day

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS - By Mar­ley Jay

new york» Wall Street traders some­times root for year-end “Santa Claus ral­lies,” but on Fri­day, hardly a crea­ture was stir­ring as stocks fin­ished slightly higher on the qui­etest full day of trad­ing in more than a year. Health care com­pa­nies brought in most of the gains.

Ma­jor U.S. in­dexes stayed in a nar­row range through­out the day. Drug­mak­ers and other com­pa­nies in health care did the best, while re­tail­ers con­tin­ued to take small losses just be­fore the hol­i­day. En­ergy com­pa­nies also slipped, and they took their first weekly loss since the be­gin­ning of Novem­ber. The Dow Jones in­dus­trial av­er­age, how­ever, rose for the sev­enth week in a row.

De­fense con­trac­tor Lock­heed Martin fell af­ter pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump again tweeted that the com­pany’s F-35 fighter jet costs too much. The stock is down al­most 6 per­cent this month.

The Dow Jones in­dus­trial av­er­age picked up 14.93 points, or 0.1 per­cent, to 19,933.81. The Stan­dard & Poor’s 500 in­dex gained 2.83 points, or 0.1 per­cent, to 2,263.79. The Nas­daq com­pos­ite rose 15.27 points, or 0.3 per­cent, to 5,462.69.

Fewer than 2 bil­lion shares changed hands on the New York Stock Ex­change. That’s barely half the vol­ume of an av­er­age day. The last full trad­ing day with that lit­tle ac­tiv­ity was in Oc­to­ber 2015.

Drug com­pa­nies made small gains. Bo­tox maker Al­ler­gan rose $5.09, or 2.6 per­cent, to $199.08. Aetna added $1.26, or 1 per­cent, to $125.95.

Bench­mark U.S. crude added 7 cents to close at $53.02 a bar­rel in New York. Brent crude, the in­ter­na­tional stan­dard, rose 11 cents to close at $55.16 a bar­rel in Lon­don.

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