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Stocks drift in a quiet close to another winning week

Specialist Anthony Rinaldi, left, works at his post

Specialist Anthony Rinaldi, left, works at his post on the floor of the NYSE  on Jan. 3.  Photo Credit: AP / Richard Drew

Stock indexes settled a hair lower on Friday after the falling price of oil weighed on energy companies, but the S&P 500 nevertheless closed out its third straight winning week following a brutal stretch in December.

It was a day full of broken streaks — oil fell for the first time in two weeks, and the yield on the 10-year Treasury note sank for the first time in more than a week — but the market remained calm. Gradual moves for markets in recent days have offered a respite following the tumultuous trading that rocked investors in late 2018.

"After some of the initial gains we saw earlier in the week I think it's just a rally looking tired," said Willie Delwiche, investment strategist at Baird.

The S&P 500 edged down by 0.38 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 2,596.26. Last month, a typical day for the index was a swing 10 times that.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 5.97 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 23,995.95. The Nasdaq composite lost 14.59, or 0.2 percent, to 6,971.48, and the Russell 2000 index of smaller stocks ticked up by 1.95, or 0.1 percent, to 1,447.38.

It was the first loss for the S&P 500 in six days, and much of the reason for it was the falling price of oil. Benchmark U.S. crude lost 1.9 percent to settle at $51.59 per barrel. That helped pull energy stock in the S&P 500 down 0.6 percent.

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