Nasdaq streak of records ends after mixed session for Wall Street

New York, Dec 28 (AFP/APP): Wall Street had a mixed finish to a quiet week Friday, with the Dow edging to a fresh record, but the Nasdaq retreating after 10 straight all-time highs.

The muted session in New York came after European bourses edged higher after two straight holidays, while the dollar pulled back.

The Nasdaq dipped 0.2 percent but still finished above 9,000 at 9,006.62 after first topping the benchmark on Thursday.

Analysts have attributed the latest run of records to upbeat investor sentiment based on a lower risk of recession in the immediate future, a mellowing of US-China trade tensions and accommodative monetary policy.

Stocks have followed a nearly unbroken line upward since early October, drifting higher much of this week amid low trading volumes in the period between the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

“It’s a market that’s gotten used to the fact that a lot of the things that were concerning last year feel better this year,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities.

Still, some market watchers expect a pullback in the foreseeable future in light of the market’s nearly unbroken run higher. Stocks have risen to higher-than-normal valuations as a result of the run.

Analysts say such a retreat would be natural due to technical trading factors, though it could also be sparked by an unexpected negative news event, such as a sharpening of US-China trade tensions.

European stock markets, which were open for the first time since the Christmas holiday, edged higher.

London’s blue chip FTSE 100 ended the day up 0.2 percent, Frankfurt’s DAX 30 rose 0.3 percent and the CAC 40 in Paris edged 0.1 percent higher.

Asian stock markets closed mixed, with Hong Kong the major winner, adding 1.3 percent.

Elsewhere Friday, both main oil contracts climbed on US-China trade hopes and sustained demand, while a weekly US oil inventory report showed lower stockpiles of crude.

“Optimism about trade helped the outlook for global growth and with it the demand for oil while the US consumer is showing few signs of tightening their purse strings, which is positive for oil also,” said Stephen Innes, chief Asia market strategist at AxiTrader.

– Key figures around 2130 GMT –

New York – Dow: UP 0.1 percent at 28,645.26 (close)
New York – S&P 500: FLAT at 3,240.02 (close)
New York – Nasdaq: DOWN 0.2 percent at 9,006.62 (close)
London – FTSE 100: UP 0.2 percent at 7,644.90 (close)
Frankfurt – DAX 30: UP 0.3 percent at 13,337.11 (close)
Paris – CAC 40: UP 0.1 percent at 6,037.39 (close)
EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.2 percent at 3,782.27 (close)
Tokyo – Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.4 percent at 23,837.72 (close)
Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 1.3 percent at 28,225.42 (close)
Shanghai – Composite: DOWN 0.1 percent at 3,005.04 (close)
Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3074 from $1.2993 at 2200 GMT
Euro/pound: UP at 85.47 pence from 85.41 pence
Euro/dollar: UP at 1.1175 from $1.1098
Dollar/yen: DOWN at 109.46 from 109.63
Brent Crude: UP 0.4 percent at $68.16 per barrel
West Texas Intermediate: UP 0.1 percent at $61.72 per barrel

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