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US Market Indexes Report Losses for March

US Market Indexes Report Losses for March

The Dow Jones Industrial Average held lower Friday, closing down 0.3% at 20,663.22. The Standard & Poor's 500 index's gains amounted to its best three-month stretch since the fourth quarter of 2015. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index edged down by 0.1 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index both rose by 0.4 percent. The index hit an all-time high on Thursday. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 3 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,385.

US stocks were little changed on Friday, with the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average firmly on course to book their biggest first-quarter gains in four years.

The S&P 500 index showed 20 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 78 new highs and 16 new lows.

That puts the spotlight on first-quarter earnings, and until they come out, economic data will remain the focus with the Friday jobs report being paramount.

US stocks ended lower Friday after wavering in a tight range, as investors meditated on a batch of economic reports.

While European central bank officials doused expectations policy makers were planning to withdraw monetary support, Fed officials shifted to a more hawkish tone, as the world's biggest economy progresses toward goals for full employment and 2 percent inflation.

For the month, the Nasdaq rose 1.7%, its fifth straight advance - leaving it up more than 21% over the past 12 months. Its stock finished up 11.2 per cent at $110.88.

More news: April the giraffe's live video feed is back up!

ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) was up over 8% to $49.78 and top riser on S&P500 as it offloaded its Canadian oil sands assets, following on from recent similar moves by Royal Dutch Shell PLC (LON: RDSA) and Marathon Oil Corp (NYSE:MRO).

Other companies that sell athletic apparel were pressured as well, including Nike, which lost 1.2 percent, and Under Armour, which shed 2.3 percent.

-West Texas Intermediate crude rose 1.7 percent to settle at $50.35 a barrel, the highest close since March 7.

STRONG QUARTER: DXP Enterprises jumped 13.8 percent after the industrial products company reported a profit and better-than-expected sales in the fourth quarter.

Stocks to watch:BlackBerry Ltd. (BB.T) shares rose 3.5% in premarket after trimming losses and stating that it expects to be profitable on an adjusted earnings-per-share basis in fiscal 2018.

Financial shares surged 1.2 per cent, with Bank of America and Citigroup propping up the S&P 500.

ACQUISITION AGREEMENT: TRC vaulted 45.6 percent after the engineering and consulting services company agreed to be bought by a unit of the investment firm New Mountain Capital for $17.55 a share, or $365.5 million.

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