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US Indexes Lower Friday After Iran Conflict News

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 28,634.88 on Friday with a loss of 233.92 points or -0.81%. The S&P 500 closed at 3,234.85 for a loss of 23.00 points or -0.71%. The Nasdaq Composite closed at 9,020.77 for a loss of 71.42 points or -0.79%. The VIX Volatility Index was higher at 14.21 for a gain of 1.74 points or 13.95%.

For the week, the Nasdaq gained approximately 0.38%, the Dow Jones gained 0.09% and the S&P 500 was down 0.01%. For the trailing 12 months, the Nasdaq has a gain of 39.56%, the S&P 500 has a gain of 32.15% and the Dow Jones is up 27.25%.


Friday's market movers

Conflicts in Iran worried investors Friday, pausing what has been a strong holiday rally. In news developments Friday, it was reported that the Trump administration authorized a strike that killed an Iranian military unit leader. The strike followed escalating conflicts in the Middle East and an attempted attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad by Iran-backed militants earlier this week.

On Friday, the Federal Open Market Committee released its December meeting minutes, which investors were watching closely. The December minutes showed optimism over the economy's growth, but some concerns over low inflation levels. The December minutes also suggested that the Fed will be making some changes to its benchmarking goals and strategy, which may be announced around mid-year. Also on watch will be the central bank's activities around the short-term market, which it has been injecting with millions of dollars over the past several months. In terms of rate changes, most projections are now showing the federal funds rate steady through 2020 with one potential increase in 2021.

Economic reports affecting market trading included the following:

  • The ISM Manufacturing PMI decreased to 47.2 in December from 48.1. Separately, the ISM Manufacturing New Orders Index decreased to 46.8 from 47.2, the ISM Manufacturing Prices Index increased to 51.7 from 46.7 and the ISM Manufacturing Employment Index decreased to 45.1 from 46.6.
  • Construction spending increased 0.6% in November following an increase of 0.1%.
  • The EIA's Weekly Petroleum Status Report showed a decrease of 11.463 million barrels in oil inventory.
  • Preliminary vehicle sales were released, showing total vehicle sales on a seasonally adjusted annual basis expected to be down just slightly to 17.0 million from 17.1 million.
  • The Baker Hughes North American oil rig count was down to 881 from 904.



In the S&P 500, materials and financials led losses. In the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the following stocks led losses:

  • Dow Inc. (NYSE:DOW) -2.16%
  • Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) -1.49%
  • Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) -1.42%



Small-cap stocks

In small caps, the Russell 2000 closed at 1,661.42 for a loss of 5.35 points or -0.32%. The S&P 600 closed at 1,020.93 for a gain of 0.100 points or 0.0098%. The Dow Jones U.S. Small-Cap Growth Index closed at 10,650.71 for a loss of 35.02 points or -0.33%. The Dow Jones U.S. Small-Cap Value Index closed at 9,886.41 for a loss of 32.61 points or -0.33%.

Other notable indexes

Other notable index closes included the S&P 400 Mid-Cap Index at 2,055.59 for a loss of 9.60 points or -0.46%; the S&P 100 at 1,446.42 for a loss of 11.71 points or -0.80%; the Nasdaq 100 at 8,793.90 for a loss of 78.31 points or -0.88%; the Russell 3000 at 1,894.51 for a gain of 2.26 points or 0.12%; the Russell 1000 at 1,787.06 for a gain of 2.85 points or 0.16%; the Wilshire 5000 at 33,051.78 for a loss of 209.48 points or -0.63%; and the Dow Jones U.S. Select Dividend Index at 748.26 for a loss of 4.77 points or -0.63%.

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This article first appeared on GuruFocus.