US stocks struggled for gains on Friday as mixed headlines on trade dampened positive consumer sentiment data, sending investors into the weekend with little enthusiasm.
The Dow inched up, while the Nasdaq lost ground and the bellwether S&P 500 was nominally lower, hovering more than 2.0 per cent below its record high reached on April 30.
All three were on course for their second successive weekly declines after failing to fully recover from Monday’s steep sell-off, reports Reuters.
Farm equipment maker Deere & Co was the biggest percentage loser on the S&P 500, dipping 6.4 per cent after cutting its full-year forecast.
Caterpillar Inc, 3M Co, Textron, General Dynamics and Fedex Corp all helped pull the industrial sector 0.5 per cent lower.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 23.01 points, or 0.09 per cent, to 25,885.69, the S&P 500 lost 2.54 points, or 0.09 per cent, to 2,873.78 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 28.94 points, or 0.37 per cent, to 7,869.11.
Of the 11 major sectors in the S&P 500, eight were trading in the red, with energy and industrials seeing the largest percentage losses.
With 460 of S&P 500 companies having posted first-quarter results, 75.2 per cent of which beat analyst expectations, the mostly upbeat first-quarter earnings season is nearly complete.
Analysts now expect first-quarter earnings growth of 1.4 per cent, a significant turnaround from the 2.0 per cent loss expected on April 1.
Applied Materials Inc advanced 4.1 per cent after the company’s better-than-expected quarterly profit eased concerns about waning chip demand.
Active wear company Under Armour Inc gained 7.3 per cent following JP Morgan’s upgrade of the stock to “overweight.”
Pinterest Inc slumped 11.5 per cent after its first quarterly earnings report as a publicly-traded company.
Shares of Luckin Coffee Inc jumped 24.6 per cent as the Chinese challenger to Starbucks Corp made its debut.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.91-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.76-to-1 ratio favoured decliners.
The S&P 500 posted 29 new 52-week highs and 5 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 53 new highs and 87 new lows.
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