Wall Street flat in quiet start to 2015

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York Jan 2, 2015. Wall Street stocks finished the first trading day of the new year little-changed Friday following lacklustre US economic data and with many market participants still
A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York Jan 2, 2015. Wall Street stocks finished the first trading day of the new year little-changed Friday following lacklustre US economic data and with many market participants still on holiday. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (AFP) - Wall Street stocks finished the first trading day of the new year little-changed Friday following lacklustre US economic data and with many market participants still on holiday.

At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 17,830.87, up 7.80 points (0.04 per cent).

The broad-based S&P 500 slipped 0.80 (0.04 per cent) to 2,058.10, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index fell 9.24 (0.20 per cent) to 4,726.81.

All three indices spent much of 2015's first session in the red following reports that showed lower US construction spending in November and weaker manufacturing activity in December.

But stocks strengthened somewhat in the last 30 minutes, enabling the Dow to notch a small gain and cutting losses in the other two indices.

Analysts said volume was light after markets closed Thursday for New Year's Day.

"The year really starts on Monday," said Dan Greenhaus, chief global strategist at BTIG.