U.S. stocks are mixed Friday as trading remains quiet heading into the Christmas holiday weekend. Major indexes are little changed. Consumer-focused companies like retailers are falling again and health care stocks are making small gains.
ON WALL STREET: At the close, The Dow Jones industrial average was up nearly 15 points, about 0.07 percent, to 19,933.8. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 2.8 points, about 0.1 percent to 2,263.8. The Nasdaq composite lost added 15.3 points, about 0.3 percent, to 5,462.7. On the New York Stock Exchange, more companies rose than fell.
OIL PRICES: As markets closed, benchmark U.S. crude rose 15 cents to $53.10 a barrel in trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London on the Intercontinental Exchange Europe, Brent crude, the international standard, added 3 cents to $55.08 a barrel.
BOND PRICES: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.54 percent from 2.55 percent.
TRUMP LUMP Lockheed Martin skidded after coming under renewed criticism on Twitter by President-elect Donald Trump. Trump said Lockheed’s F-35 fighter jet costs too much and that he has asked Boeing to “price-out” a comparable F-18 jet. Trump complained earlier this month about the costs of the F-35, which made up about 20 percent of Lockheed’s revenue last year. He also criticized Boeing for the cost of the next Air Force One. Lockheed gave up $4.41, or 1.7 percent, to $238.39.
ANALYST’S OPINION: “This is a negotiating tactic,” said Josh Sullivan, a Seaport Global analyst who covers aerospace and defense companies. “You’re seeing the negative portion of the negotiation in public where privately they may be more constructive.”
Sullivan said Trump’s tweets are a new type of bad publicity for defense companies, but even if the President-elect periodically criticizes the companies in public, investors are still optimistic about their prospects. If Trump builds up the U.S. nuclear arsenal, as he proposed doing in a tweet Thursday, that would also involve more military spending. “Ultimately [Trump] ran on a strong defense spending platform,” he said. Defense stocks have done better than the rest of the market overall since the election.
TRUMP BUMP: Companies linked to investor Carl Icahn climbed after he was named as an adviser to Trump. At midmorning, the Goldman Sachs Group was up at 78 cents at $240.90. Exxon Mobil Corp. was off 22 cents at $90.65.
BANK PROBES: Deutsche Bank agreed to pay the U.S. government $7.2 billion and Credit Suisse will pay $5.3 billion to settle civil claims over mortgage-backed securities they sold. The companies’ deal with the Justice Department isn’t final, but it includes both a fine and compensation for borrowers. Deutsche Bank rose 10 cents to $18.64 and Credit Suisse lost 10 cents to $14.83.
RETAIL SINKS: Retailers continued their recent slump. Online giant Amazon fell $7.09 to $759.25, and electronics retailer Best Buy lost 54 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $44.56.
U.S. ECONOMY: The U.S. economy grew at a 3.5 percent annual rate in the July-September quarter, the fastest pace in two years and more than the government had previously estimated. The gain in the gross domestic product came from added strength in consumer spending, business investment and the government sector, the Commerce Department said. The government had previously estimated last quarter’s annual growth rate at 3.2 percent.
With Newsday staff