US stocks sag but remain close to record highs

NEW YORK (AFP) - Wall Street stocks fell modestly on Friday but remained close to record highs to close out the best single-month performance since 2011.

Stocks got help from a new estimate of fourth-quarter US economic growth that came in better than expected.

At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 82.04 points (0.45 per cent) at 18,132.38.

The broad-based S&P 500 shed 6.26 (0.30 per cent) at 2,104.48, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index lost 24.36 (0.49 per cent) at 4,963.53.

The official estimate of US growth in the October-December quarter was revised to 2.2 per cent from the initial estimate of 2.6 per cent.

A sharper cut had been expected by markets, and analysts said the figure suggested the economy is growing now at a respectable 3 per cent pace or better.