US stocks edge lower as five-day winning streak ends

VIDEO: REUTERS
Traders work on the floor at the closing bell of the Dow Industrial Average at the New York Stock Exchange on Jan 10, 2019.
Traders work on the floor at the closing bell of the Dow Industrial Average at the New York Stock Exchange on Jan 10, 2019.PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) - Wall Street stocks finished slightly lower on Friday (Jan 11) after a sleepy session as markets looked ahead to the start of earnings season next week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down a hair to finish the week at 23,995.95.

The broad-based S&P 500 lost less than 0.1 per cent to end at 2,596.26, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dipped 0.2 per cent to close at 6,971.48.

US stocks had risen the last five sessions on dovish reassurances from Fed officials and hopes US-China trade talks will yield a deal.

That streak ended on Friday, yet stocks recovered much of their losses from earlier in the day.

After a bumpy December, investors have largely set aside fears over a global economic slowdown, as well as mounting concerns over a prolonged US government shutdown due to a budget dispute between President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats.

Investors are now looking ahead to fourth-quarter earnings period, which begins in earnest next week with results from JPMorgan Chase and other large banks.

Markets will be looking for signs from executives on the extent to which the economic outlook may have weakened, analysts said.

Among individual companies, General Motors surged 7 per cent after forecasting better-than-expected profits for 2018 and 2019 following job cuts announced in December.

Activision Blizzard plunged 9.4 per cent following news that video game developer Bungie will assume the Destiny game venture on its own.

Netflix jumped 4 per cent following upgrades from UBS and Raymond James.