By Noel Randewich
The S&P 500 dipped on Friday, pulled down by bank and energy stocks, while gains in Kraft Heinz put the Nasdaq on track for a record high close.Trading was mixed as investors digested recent record highs fuelled by the "Trump Rally" that has seen the S&P 500 rise about almost 10 percent since the November presidential election.The S&P energy sector .SPNY fell 0.75 percent as oil prices slipped while Wells Fargo and Citigroup both lost about 0.6 percent, with the financial index .SPSY down 0.3 percent. Signs of a strengthening economy as well as anticipated tax cuts have driven much of the week's gains. With a strong fourth-quarter earnings season mostly complete, many investors say they need concrete signs of progress from Trump on his policy plans. Uncertainty around other potential Trump policies is an additional risk, some investors say. "People are focussing on only the good of what his campaign promises were," said Lindsey Bell, an investment strategist at CFRA Research. "What makes me nervous is that it feels like the market is ignoring what could come on immigration, trade, healthcare - the negative implications that could come from a protectionist government."
With a long weekend ahead due to the Presidents Day holiday on Monday, investors trading volume was expected to remain thin.At 2:19 pm ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was down 0.25 percent at 20,567.28 points, while the S&P 500 .SPX had lost 0.11 percent to 2,344.63.The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 0.15 percent to 5,823.39.
Th Nasdaq's increase was driven by an 8.49-percent jump in Kraft Heinz (KHC.O), which said it would continue to pursue a $143 billion bid for Unilever (ULVR.L), despite being rebuffed. Unilever's U.S.-listed shares (UL.N) surged 13.88 percent.Seven of the 11 major S&P sectors fell, with Kraft Heinz's gains helping the consumer staples .SPLRCS notch as gain of 0.49 percent.
UnitedHealth (UNH.N) sank 4.11 percent after it was sued by the Justice Department over Medicare charges.Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.66-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.06-to-1 ratio favoured decliners.The S&P 500 posted 34 new 52-week highs and 1 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 113 new highs and 21 new lows. (Additional reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru)
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Updated Date: Feb 18, 2017 01:30:07 IST