Wall Street ends day little changed amid thin trading volumes

  • Major indexes fluctuated in tight ranges on Friday.
  • Upbeat consumer spending data affirms healthy US economy. 
  • Trump signs $1.5 trillion tax overhaul into law.

After starting the day in a quiet manner, major equity indexes in the U.S. seesawed in narrow bands as investors were gearing up for holidays.

Today's data from the United States showed that the economic activity is likely to carry its momentum into 2018 as consumer spending, which accounts for more than 50% of the GDP,  increased by 0.6% on a monthly basis in November following October's rather dismal rise of 0.2%. Moreover, the Fed's preferred gauge of inflation, the core-PCE price index, grew by 1.8% on a yearly basis in November, inching closer to the 2% target rate.

Commenting on today's figures, “the data is relatively mixed but biased to the upside, and consumer sentiment continues to be strong and that bodes well for economic strength in 2018,” Matthew Miskin, market strategist at John Hancock Investments in Boston, Massachusetts, told Reuters.

Profit taking ahead of the holidays had a significant impact on the crypto space on Friday, hence weighing on shares of crypto-sensitive companies like Long Island Ice Tea Corp and Riot Blockchain Inc, which lost more than 10% on the day. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 24.89 points, or 0.1%, to 24,757.40, the S&P 500 was essentially unchanged at 2,683.60 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite lost 4.78 points, or 0.07%, to 6,960.58. For the week, indexes added 0.42%, 0.29% and 0.34% respectively.

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