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US: Wall Street sets fresh records despite little movement

42577240 - 16_05_2017 - US-DOW-JONES-AVERAGE-RISES-CLOSE-TO-100-POINTS.jpg
Wall Street drifted marginally higher to new records on Friday despite finishing virtually flat ahead of a holiday weekend.

[NEW YORK] Wall Street drifted marginally higher to new records on Friday despite finishing virtually flat ahead of a holiday weekend.

With the three major stock indices clinging to advances made in a week-long rally, Friday's hair's-breadth gains were all that was necessary to see the Nasdaq and S&P 500 break Thursday's all-time highs.

The broad S&P 500 gained a fraction to end the week at and 2,415.82, while the Nasdaq rose 0.8 per cent to close at 6,210.19. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was virtually flat at 21,080.28, putting it down less than three points below Thursday's close.

The markets will be closed on Monday in observance of Memorial Day and appeared to be taking a breather after six days of steady gains.

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Investors also appeared unmoved on Friday by fresh economic data which showed the first quarter for the US economy was stronger than first reported, but that sales of durable goods fell for the first time in five months.

The upward revision could boost expectations the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates again next month because it confirms policymakers' views that first-quarter weakness was only "transitory."

"We had a little bit of bounce in oil from yesterday. The factor today is that no one is really committing to do much of anything before the long weekend," said Peter Cardillo of First Standard Financial.

Among the day's biggest losers on the Dow were hardware megastore chain Home Depot, which fell one percent, drugmaker Johnson & Johnson, which gave up 0.6 per cent and IBM, which lost 0.7 per cent.

Shares in the bulk discount retailer Costco ended the day up 1.8 per cent after posting quarterly earnings that beat Wall Street expectations.

But struggling department store chain Sears fell 8.3 per cent, giving up Thursday's gains, when it spiked on a rare quarterly profit.

AFP

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