US stocks ended slightly lower Friday, stalling out after major stock indices have repeatedly set new highs since the Federal Reserve announced to modestly taper its stimulus last week.
The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.47 points, or 0.01 percent, to 16,478.41. The S&P 500 edged down 0.62 point, or 0.03 percent, to 1,841.40. The Nasdaq Composite Index shed 10.59 points, or 0.25 percent, to 4,156.59.
"Today we stalled out (in the market)," Mark Newton, chief technical analyst at Greywolf Execution Partners Inc, told Xinhua Friday. He said the energy and material sectors strengthened based on a rally in commodity prices while consumer discretionary sector posted a weakness in Friday's trading session.
The market fluctuated in trading during the day as investors were reluctant somewhat to take new positions after the U.S. stocks had staged a run of gains in the past ten days.
On the previous trading session, the Dow posted its 50th record high on the close this year, while the S&P 500 also set a new all- time closing high, and the Nasdaq recorded a new high in 13 years.
On the positive side, U.S. President Barack Obama has signed the bipartisan budget bill which covers spending levels for the next two fiscal years, according to the White House Thursday.
Despite the modest pullback, the three major stock indices still finished the week on a positive note for the second week in a row, rising 1.6 percent, 1.3 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively.
Last week, Wall Street embraced the Fed's prudential tapering of its bond purchases with positive reactions, as the U.S. central bank reassured investors by vowing to keep the ultra-low interest rates intact even after the asset purchases program ends.
In corporate news, Twitter was among the most actively traded on the New York Stock Exchange Friday. Shares of the social media tumbled 13.04 percent to 63.75 U.S. dollars in the day, which had, nevertheless, nearly tripled the price since it first went public early last month.
In other markets, oil prices continued to rise Friday as a government report showed that U.S. crude supplies fell more than expected last week. Light, sweet crude for February delivery gained 77 cents to settle at 100.32 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange,while Brent crude for February delivery increased 20 cents to close at 112.18 dollars a barrel.
Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange continued to move higher on short covering Friday. The most active gold contract for February delivery added 1.7 dollars to settle at 1,214.0 dollars per ounce.
The U.S. dollar gained against Japanese yen Friday on the speculation that the Bank of Japan may add monetary stimulus. In late New York trading, the dollar bought 105.14 Japanese yen, higher than 104.71 yen of the previous session.