Wall Street closed lower on Thursday amid concerns about a possible US government shutdown and losses in industrial stocks and interest-rate sensitive sectors.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 97 points, or 0.37%, to 26,019, the S&P 500 lost four points, or 0.16%, to 2,798 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped two points, or 0.03%, to 7,296.
Energy stocks contributed to the modest decline following a slide in crude oil prices. Technology companies accounted for the biggest gains. Two rate-sensitive sectors - utilities and real estate - dipped 0.2% and 0.8%, respectively.
Investors kept a close eye on corporate earnings reports, given the run-up in stock valuations. They also monitored developments in Washington ahead of a possible federal government shutdown this weekend.
In economic news, the Commerce Department said on Thursday that groundbreakings on new US homes declined in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.19 million units.
A slide in industrials stocks weighed heaviest on the market yesterday. Boeing had its worst day since September 2016, with the stock falling 3.1%. General Electric declined 3.3%.
Alcoa tumbled 7% after the company reported a wider loss in the fourth quarter.
In the financial sector, Morgan Stanley shares registered modest gains after the lender’s latest earnings beat Wall Street’s expectations. Bank of NY Mellon and KeyCorp declined after their latest results disappointed traders. Bank of NY Mellon lost 4.4%, while KeyCorp dropped 2.1%.
Technology stocks, one of the biggest gainers this year, continued to notch gains. Advanced Micro Devices picked up 2.4%.
In deal news, share of Wyndham Worldwide gained 4.8% amid news that the company has agreed to acquire La Quinta's hotel franchise and management business. La Quinta added 3.8%.
In Asia, major indexes were mostly higher on Friday in morning session despite Wall Street closing yesterday with slight losses amid political concerns.
Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.39% in early trade. In South Korea, the Kospi tacked on 0.22%. Down Under, the S&P/ASX 200 was little changed, trading 0.10% below the flat line.
In Greater China, the Hang Seng Index was down 0.04% in early trade, while Shanghai Composite Index added 0.38%.