Wall Street closes down as Nike's gains stand out

NEW YORK (AFP) - Wall Street stocks ended the day in negative territory on Friday (Aug 19), putting the major indices down for the week as oil stocks joined Wal-Mart Stores in retreating from recent gains.

But sports footwear and apparel giant Nike saw shares up 3 per cent, making it one of the Dow's biggest gainers.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 0.2 per cent at 18,552.57.

The broader S&P 500 was down 0.1 per cent at 2,183.87 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq was essentially flat at 5,238.38.

"The market continues to exhibit sideways price action but it is still an upside bias. The market just can't just sell off with any bad news," Michael James of Wedbush Securities told AFP.

"None of the economic data was really market moving, nor were the Fed comments from the last meeting. They had no impact," he added.

Oil stocks were in negative territory on the Dow, with supermajor Exxon Mobil Corp down 1.3 per cent and Chevron 1.2 per cent.

Wal-Mart shares gave up all of Thursday's gain which came after the retailer posted better-than-expected earnings, despite absorbing costs from its recent acquisition of the online retailer Jet.com.

On Friday the company closed down 2 per cent at US$72.81.

Nike surged after announcing it had formed a supply-chain partnership with private equity firm Apollo Global Management. The deal could help the retailer surmount logistics problems.