US stocks lower on the day while gaining on the week

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With the French elections looming, oil sliding and potential tax reform back on investors’ radars, US stocks fell at the end of trading Friday while still managing to post their first weekly gain in three.

The S&P 500 ended the trading day 0.3 per cent lower to 2,348, while posting a 0.85 per cent gain over the week, as stocks swung from gains to losses day-to-day, buffeted by geopolitical events and corporate earnings. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, meanwhile, ended the day down 0.15 per cent while posting a 0.46 per cent gain over the week.

Both indices were led by industrials and dragged down by financials and telecoms stocks, with Verizon proving a particular drag after reporting earlier this week that it had lost hundreds of thousands of customers.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq, meanwhile, closed out the week with an 0.11 per cent loss, while climbing 1.82 per cent on the week as the first tech earnings started to filter in.

Yield on the benchmark 10-year US Treasury note ticked up 0.9 basis points to 2.24 per cent, while the dollar index — which measures the greenback against a basket of peers — ticked up 0.12 per cent to close at 99.90, nearing the 100-mark that it fell below earlier this week, as US President Donald Trump on Friday claimed a tax reform announcement could come as early as next week.

The US oil benchmark West Texas Intermediate continued to trade below the $50-a-barrel mark that it crossed earlier in the day, ending the trading day at $49.62 a barrel. Brent crude also took a beating, closing down 1.9 per cent at $51.96 a barrel.

When the markets re-open on Monday, the world will know — probably — the results of the first round of the French presidential election will be on, either assuaging investors’ geopolitical concerns or throwing more fuel on the fire. Stay tuned…

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