Wall Street ends last day of year slightly lower

  • Technology becomes top gainer of 2017.
  • Energy sector ends the year with losses.
  • Nasdaq outperforms S&P 500 and Dow Jones.

With the trading volume remaining at its lowest level of the year, major equity indexes in the U.S. are fluctuating in tight ranges on Friday and is looking to close the session with small losses.

Despite crude oil's recent rally, the S&P 500 Energy Sector (SPNY) is down 0.1% on the day. In fact, the SPNY is one of the two sectors that are recording losses for the year, the other being the S&P 500 Telecom Services Sector (SPLRCL). Nonetheless, the barrel of West Texas Intermediate is about to finish the year at its best level since mid-2015 and American shale producers could boost their output to take advantage of the rising oil prices and the SPNY index could start 2018 on a positive note.

The S&P 500 Information Technology Sector (SPLRCT) is losing 0.3% on Friday as investors are booking their profits. On an annual basis, the SPLRCT is the best performing sector with a gain of nearly 37%.

“By all accounts 2017 has been a great year for the market. It is rich (in valuation) as of now and if prices and earnings continue to converge, I wouldn’t be concerned,” Arian Vojdani, investment strategist at MV Financial in Bethesda, Maryland, told Reuters on Friday.

The broader S&P 500 has gained around 20% in 2017, the financial-heavy Dow added more than 25% and the tech-dominated Nasdaq Composite rose almost 30%. All three major indices recorded their biggest annual percentage gains since 2013.

A few minutes ahead of the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 10.35 points, or 0.04%, at 24,827.16, the S&P 500 was losing 1.3 points, or 0.05%, at 2,686.24 and the Nasdaq Composite was dropping 16.09 points, or 0.23%, at 6,934.07.

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