US stock indexes mixed in late-afternoon trading

Posted April 02, 2017

US stock indexes drifted mostly higher in late-afternoon trading Friday as the market closed out a solid quarter with the Nasdaq composite headed for another record high.

Other markets: Asian stocks finished Friday's session on a largely weaker note, with the Nikkei 225 index marking its lowest close since February 1 at 18,909, and losing 1.1% on the quarter.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,368.06) added 6.9 points, or 0.3%, to move into positive month-to-date territory. The Nasdaq composite turned in its best quarter since the end of 2013.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,362.72) closed the session down 5.3 points, or 0.2%, and the week up 0.8%.

The Dow Jones fell 65 points to 20,663 on the day but ended the quarter 4.55 higher than it started it. The benchmark gauge is up 0.2 percent in March and 5.8 percent in the quarter. AutoNation fell $1.33, or 3.1 per cent, to $42.16, the biggest decliner in the S&P 500.

The defensive utilities sector was the worst-performing group, falling 0.8 percent.

For the month, the Nasdaq rose 1.7%, its fifth straight advance - leaving it up more than 21% over the past 12 months.

The Dow Jones was seen shedding around 26 points to open at 20,702.

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ENERGY SLUMP: Several energy companies were down as oil prices headed lower.

STRONG QUARTER: DXP Enterprises jumped 15.9 per cent after the industrial products company reported a profit and better-than-expected sales in the fourth quarter. The stock added $3.76 to $36.50.

FMC Corp (NYSE:FMC) was set to be a bright spot after it agreed to acquire a chunk of the crop protection business of E I Du Pont De Nemours And Co (NYSE:DD).

Ten-year Treasury yields rose above 2.41 percent. DuPont shares fell 85 cents, or 1 per cent, to $80.79. Rounding things out, Japan's Nikkei shed 0.8%, after reports showed consumer prices rose at their fastest pace in roughly two years, while household spending fell by more than expected in February, and the country's unemployment rate dropped to its lowest level in nearly 23 years.

-German bonds gained, with the yield on 10-year bonds dropping by around one basis point after inflation in Europe's largest economy decelerated more than forecast in March.

-West Texas Intermediate crude rose 1.7 percent to settle at $50.35 a barrel, the highest close since March 7. The DJIA is poised to add almost 5%, which would be its sixth-straight positive quarter and the longest winning streak since the fourth quarter of 2006.

CURRENCIES: The euro weakened to $1.0690 from $1.0691 on Thursday. Natural-gas prices, meanwhile, extended earlier declines after a weekly decline in domestic inventories of the fuel was in line with market expectations. The dollar fell to 111.49 yen from 111.60 yen.

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