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U.S. stocks limp into the weekend with mixed results

Traders Timothy Nick, left, Peter Tuchman, center, and

Traders Timothy Nick, left, Peter Tuchman, center, and Gordon Charlop work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Thursday, March 16, 2017.  Photo Credit: AP / Richard Drew

U.S. stocks limped into the weekend with mixed results on Friday, but the market nevertheless capped off yet another winning week. Gains for dividend-paying stocks offset drops for banks and health care stocks.

ON WALL STREET: At the close, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index was down 3.1 points, about 0.1 percent, at 2,378.3. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 19.9 points, about 0.1 percent, to 20,914.6, and the Nasdaq was up less than a point at 5,901.

OIL PRICES: As markets closed, benchmark U.S. crude oil was down 3 cents at $48.72 a barrel. It had slipped 11 cents to settle at $48.75 per barrel Thursday, the ninth drop in the last nine days. In London on the Intercontinental Exchange Europe, Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, was up 6 cents to $51.80 a barrel.

THE G-20 AND TRUMP: Finance leaders from the G-20 industrial and emerging economies are meeting Friday and Saturday in the southern German resort town of Baden-Baden. The first G-20 finance meeting since tough-talking Donald Trump was elected president, it’s likely to focus on concerns over protectionism and currencies.

ANALYST’S VIEW: “Normally the G-20 serves up a vacuous statement on free trade, etc. that most of its members completely ignore themselves, before they all head of for a nice lunch and photos at a nice resort somewhere,” Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at OANDA, said in a commentary. “This meeting has the potential to be more heated so to speak, with some very militant senior members of the new Trump administration in attendance and looking to shake the global trade tree. Lunch may have to wait.”

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