Stocks drift in a quiet close to win­ning week

The News-Times - - BUSINESS -

U.S. stock in­dexes nes­tled a hair lower on Fri­day after the fall­ing price of oil weighed on en­ergy com­pa­nies, but the S&P 500 nev­er­the­less closed out its third straight win­ning week fol­low­ing a bru­tal stretch in De­cem­ber.

It was a day full of bro­ken streaks — oil fell for the first time in two weeks, and the yield on the 10-year Trea­sury note sank to its first loss in more than a week — but the mar­ket re­mained calm through it. Grad­ual moves for mar­kets in re­cent days have of­fered a respite fol­low­ing the tu­mul­tuous trad­ing that rocked investors in late 2018.

The S&P 500 edged down by 0.38 points, or less than 0.1 per­cent, to 2,596.26. Last month, a typ­i­cal day for the in­dex was a swing 10 times that.

The Dow Jones In­dus­trial Av­er­age dipped 5.97 points, or less than 0.1 per­cent, to

23,995.95. The Nas­daq com­pos­ite lost 14.59, or 0.2 per­cent, to 6,971.48, and the Rus­sell 2000 in­dex of smaller stocks ticked up by 1.95, or

0.1 per­cent, to 1,447.38.

It was the first loss for the S&P 500 in six days, and much of the rea­son for it was the fall­ing price of oil. Bench­mark U.S. crude lost 1.9 per­cent to set­tle at $51.59 per bar­rel, and Brent crude, the in­ter­na­tional stan­dard, sank

1.9 per­cent to $60.48 a bar­rel. That helped pull en­ergy stock in the S&P 500 down

0.6 per­cent, the largest loss among the 11 sec­tors that make up the in­dex. Cono­coPhillips, Marathon Oil and Hess all fell more than 1 per­cent.

Big gains ear­lier in the week meant the S&P 500 was still hang­ing onto a 2.5 per­cent rise for the last five days. The three-week win­ning streak for the S&P 500 is its long­est since Au­gust. Not only that, the last three weeks of gains have all been of more than 1.8 per­cent.

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