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Health care and bank stocks pull U.S. indexes slightly lower

Traders work on the floor of the New

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Oct. 18, 2017. Photo Credit: AP / Richard Drew

Stocks finished slightly lower Friday in subdued trading ahead of a three-day holiday weekend. Health care companies and banks slipped.

President Donald Trump signed the Republican-backed tax bill into law, but for the fourth day in a row, stocks didn’t move much. They had made strong gains in recent weeks as investors became more sure the $1.5 trillion package would pass.

High-dividend stocks made small gains even as bond yields remained near their recent highs.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell less than 0.1 percent, to 2,683.34. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 28.23 points, or 0.1 percent, to 24,754.06. The Nasdaq composite fell 0.1 percent, to 6,959.96.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks dipped 0.3 percent, to 1,542.93. Those companies, which stand to benefit more than others from lower tax rates, outpaced the market this week.

Stocks are below the record highs they reached Monday but still finished higher for the fifth week in a row.

Markets will be closed Monday in observance of Christmas, and with just four days of trading left in 2017, stocks are on pace to finish every month of the year with gains, when dividends are included. — AP

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