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US: Nasdaq ends 7-day winning streak; Wall Street retreats

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[NEW YORK] Wall Street ended lower on Thursday, with the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite ending a seven-day winning streak, as investors held their breath before earnings season for the fourth quarter.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell, moving further from the 20,000 mark amid signs the post-election rally could be running out of steam.

The major indices regained some of the territory lost early in the trading session after the US Environmental Protection Agency charged automaker Fiat Chrysler with skirting emissions standards on diesel trucks.

Trading of FCA shares was suspended briefly in New York, and the price finished down 10.3 per cent.

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The Dow and Nasdaq both gave up 0.3 per cent from the prior day's close to end at 19,891.00 and 5,547.49, respectively. The broader S&P 500 fell 0.2 per cent to 2,270.44.

Peter Cardillo of First Standard Financial said the glum mood reflected investor disappointment with President-elect Donald Trump's press conference on Wednesday, as he failed to deliver specifics on stimulus measures or tax cuts, hopes for which had driven the recent rally.

"He did not touch on certain matters which investors wanted to hear," Mr Cardillo said.

"It's just a market that has been high."

Major banks also were due to report earnings on Friday, including JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America.

Financial stocks took a light beating. JP Morgan gave up one per cent, Goldman Sachs lost 0.8 per cent and Wells Fargo fell 0.6 per cent. Bank of New York Mellon lost 1.2 per cent after settling with the Securities and Exchange Commission for US$6 million to resolve charges it miscalculated its risk-based capital ratio.

Internet retail giant Amazon gained 1.8 per cent after announcing plans to create 100,000 jobs over the next 18 months.

Delta Air Lines lost 1.1 per cent after reporting a 37 per cent dip in fourth-quarter profits.