Healthcare stocks ease, sending U.S. stock indices lower

NEW YORK, New York - U.S. stocks were easier on Friday, taking a breather after an eight-day run-up in prices following the largely unexpected election of Donald J. Trump as U.S. president. ...


• At the close of trading Friday the Dow Jones industrial average was down 35.89 points or 0.19 percent at 18,867.93

• Forex traders were still jubilant about the U.S. dollar, particularly with the Fed likely to resume raising interest rates next month

• Near the New York close, the euro was trading at 1.0592 while the Japanese yen had wilted to 110.82

NEW YORK, New York - U.S. stocks were easier on Friday, taking a breather after an eight-day run-up in prices following the largely unexpected election of Donald J. Trump as U.S. president. The dollar continued to gain ground.

Healthcare stocks, particularly Allergan Plc and Merck, were the biggest losers on Friday while oil shares recovered some lost ground as OPEC made progresss in moving towards a cut in production.

Despite Friday's minor correction, all the major indices recorded highs for the week.

"I see the market kind of churning here because it's had a very decent move," Ken Polcari, director of the NYSE floor division at O’Neil Securities in New York told Thomson Reuters. "Trump's policies continue to be just rhetoric because none of it has been enacted."

At the close of trading Friday, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 35.89 points or 0.19 percent at 18,867.93.

The Nasdaq Composite was off 12.46 points or 0.23 percent at 5,321.51. It earlier rose to an all-time high at 5346.8.

The Standard and Poor's 500 slid 5.22 points or 0.24 percent to to 2,181.9.

Janet Yellen's testimony to Congress on Thursday has traders almost universal in their expectations for a 25 basis points rise in official interest rates next month.

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard on Friday indicated he was likely to vote for a December increase while the focus now shifts to the course of interest rates next year.

Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank President Esther George reiterated her agreement for rates to be increased, she said any moves however should be gradual.

The volume of shares traded on U.S. exchanges on Friday fell below the average of the past 20 trading days. It was recorded at 6.69 billion shares.

Forex traders were still jubilant about the U.S. dollar, particularly with the Fed likely to resume raising interest rates next month. On Friday the dollar closed near its highs for the day after receiving strong support in Asia and Europe, and consolidating gains attained there during trading in New York.

Around the New York close, the euro was trading at 1.0592. The Japanese yen had wilted to 110.82, while the British pound eased to 1.2355.

The Swiss franc was weaker at 1.0101, while the Australian dollar tumbled to 0.7336. The Canadian dollar was changing hands at 1.3511 while the New Zealand dollar was worth 0.7013 U.S. cents.

 

 

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