USA stock indexes drifted mostly higher in late-afternoon trading Friday as the market closed out a solid quarter with the Nasdaq composite headed for another record high.
A strong quarter for U.S. markets ended on a weak note.
It's end-quarter, and although it has been a good three months for markets it looks like ending on a boring note.
The S&P 500 and the Dow are on track to score a 5% gain for the quarter, the biggest gain since 2013.
In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 39.10 points to 20,689.39. Based on this, the Dow could end up the week with a gain of around 0.6 percent in the current week. The Nasdaq Composite index finished down 2.61 points, or less than 0.1%, at 5,911.74, snapping a five-session streak of gains.
Despite the rally in stocks, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 11.54) rose 0.1 point, or 1.1%. The S&P 500 etched a 0.1% gain - also a fifth straight advance. At its intraday peak, the Dow was up nearly 100 points, as economic data - including an upwardly revised reading on fourth-quarter gross domestic product ( GDP ) - impressed and bank stocks soared on a hawkish Fed.
Nasdaq and S&P were up by 1.26% and 0.26% respectively, for the month. The S&P 500, a broader measure of US equities, . For the month, the Dow shed 0.7% - its first monthly decline since October - but surged 4.6% in the first quarter.
The Nasdaq is up 528.62 points, or 9.8 percent.
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) spent the entire session trading lower, weighed down by a sharp decline for energy stock Exxon Mobil - even as oil prices recovered from earlier losses.
BlackBerry Limited reported higher-than-expected sales and adjusted profit in the fourth quarter. The stock added $5.22 to $37.96.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude for May delivery added 84 cents, or 1.7%, to settle at $50.35 a barrel.
DuPont (DD) on Friday said it would sell part of its crop-protection business (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dupont-sells-part-of-crop-protection-business-to-fmc-for-12-billion-and-fmc-health-and-nutrition-2017-03-31) to FMC Corp. DuPont also gets $1.6 billion, mostly in cash.
Oil prices climbed back above the highly watched $50 mark today, amid heightened expectations the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC members will extend their output-cut agreement past June. The 10-year Treasury yield fell to 2.41 percent from 2.42 percent late Thursday.
The Canadian dollar was trading at 74.99 cents U.S., down 0.01 of a cent from Thursday's close. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, added 12 cents to $53.25.
CURRENCIES: The euro weakened to $1.0690 from $1.0691 on Thursday. The DJIA is poised to add almost 5%, which would be its sixth-straight positive quarter and the longest winning streak since the fourth quarter of 2006. The dollar fell to 110.72 yen from 111.60 yen.