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US Stocks Drift Lower in Afternoon Trading; Oil Heads Down

ALEX VEIGA, AP Business Writer

Technology companies led U.S. stock indexes slightly lower Friday afternoon on the final day of trading for the year. Real estate stocks and banks were on track to eke out small gains. Trading was subdued ahead of the New Year’s Day holiday.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average slid 6 points, or 0.03 percent, to 19,813 as of 12:22 p.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 4 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,245. The Nasdaq composite gave up 33 points, or 0.6 percent, to 5,398.

THE QUOTE: “So many times we look for a rally at the end of the year, particularly between Christmas and New Year’s,” said J.J. Kinahan, TD Ameritrade’s chief strategist. “But with the incredible up move we’ve had since the election, people are either hesitant to buy things heading into the new year or are taking a little bit of profit.”

BIGGEST LOSER: Chipmaker Nvidia fell $3.78, or 3.4 percent, to $107.65. The stock also had a steep loss on Wednesday but is still by far the biggest gainer for the year in the S&P 500 index, having more than tripled in value.

TALKED OUT: Charter Communications slid down 1.9 percent on reports that talks with NBCUniversal are going badly, which could potentially lead to a blackout for Spectrum subscribers. Charter gave up $5.68 to $286.51.

NOT PUMPED: Opko Health slumped 18.1 percent after a trial of a long-acting human growth hormone product produced disappointing results. The stock lost $2.07 to $9.39.

YELLOW CARD: Cabela’s fell 5.3 percent after the sporting goods chain said antitrust regulators have asked it to provide more information about its proposed sale to rival Bass Pro Shops for $4.5 billion. The companies said they still expect to close the deal in the first half of 2017. Cabela’s shares were down $3.24 to $58.44.

SHARP MOVE: Iconix Brand Group rose 5.8 percent after the company said it would sell its Sharper Image brand for $100 million to ThreeSixty Group, the largest Sharper Image licensee. Iconix shares added 52 cents to $9.48.

ATTENTION-GETTER: Mylan rose 93 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $38.31. The drugmaker has begun selling a generic version of Concerta, a treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

LEADING THE PACK: Endo International was up 4.9 percent, the biggest gainer in the S&P 500. The stock added 76 cents to $16.44. End is the worst-performing stock in the index this year, off by more than 73 percent.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: Global stocks mostly rose on the year’s last day of trading, with Britain’s index rallying to hit another all-time high. The FTSE 100, which was trading for only a half day, rose 0.3 percent. That leaves the index 14.4 percent higher over 2016. Elsewhere in Europe, Germany’s DAX was up 0.3 percent, while France’s CAC 40 was 0.4 percent higher. Earlier in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.2 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 1 percent.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude was down 9 cents to $53.68 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 18 cents to $56.67 a barrel in London.

BONDS AND CURRENCIES: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.46 percent from 2.48 percent late Thursday. In currency trading, the dollar strengthened to 116.79 yen from 116.65 yen late Thursday. The euro rose to $1.0547 from $1.0485.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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