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Important information: The value of investments can go down as well as up so you may get back less than you invest. Investors should note that the views expressed may no longer be current and may have already been acted upon. This is a third-party news feed and may not reflect Fidelity’s views.

US close: S&P 500 continues to hover near all-time high

(Sharecast News) - Wall Street stocks turned in a mixed showing in the penultimate session of the year, while the S&P 500 continued to hover near its all-time high. At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.14% at 37,710.10 and the S&P 500 advanced 0.04% to 4,783.35, while the Nasdaq Composite saw out the session 0.03% weaker at 15,095.14.

The Dow closed 53.58 points higher on Thursday as the blue-chip index stretched its Santa Clause rally another session.

Despite the Nasdaq's modest losses, all three major indices were on track to deliver their ninth winning week in a row as a result of a late-year rally and a bounce back from a disappointing third quarter for stocks.

On the macro front, Americans lined up for unemployment benefits at an accelerated clip in the week ended 23 December, suggesting some softening in the labour market toward the end of the year. According to the Labor Department, initial jobless claims rose by 12,000 to 218,000 last week, above consensus expectations of 210,000. Continuing claims increased by 14,000 in the second week of December to a one-month high of 1.87m, meeting market expectations, while the four-week moving average, which aims to strip out week-to-week volatility, dropped by 12,500 to 1.86m.

Elsewhere, US pending home sales fell in November as all four US regions registered year-on-year declines in transactions. According to the National Association of Realtors, pending home sales fell 5.2% month-on-month, following a revised 8.2% drop in October to hold near record lows.

On another note, wholesale inventories fell by 0.2% month-on-month in November, according to preliminary estimates from the Census Bureau, following a 0.4% slump in the prior month.

Finally, the US trade deficit in goods widened to $90.3bn in November, up from a revised reading of $89.6bn in the previous month, according to an advance estimate from the Census Bureau. Exports declined by 3.6% to $165.1bn, while imports dropped by 2.1% to $255.4bn.

No major corporate earnings were released on Thursday.

Reporting by Iain Gilbert at Sharecast.com

Dow Jones - Risers

Nike Inc. (NKE) $108.82 1.58% 3M Co. (MMM) $109.69 0.87% Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) $108.77 0.73% Amgen Inc. (AMGN) $288.46 0.67% Visa Inc. (V) $260.40 0.57% JP Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM) $170.30 0.53% Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) $386.41 0.50% Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) $37.49 0.48% McDonald's Corp. (MCD) $295.84 0.44% Unitedhealth Group Inc. (UNH) $524.90 0.40%

Dow Jones - Fallers

Chevron Corp. (CVX) $149.77 -1.41% Dow Chemical Co. (DOW) $55.26 -0.86% Intel Corp. (INTC) $50.39 -0.73% Boeing Co. (BA) $260.21 -0.67% Salesforce.Com Inc. (CRM) $265.74 -0.43% Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) $296.88 -0.42% Home Depot Inc. (HD) $347.36 -0.34% Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) $145.73 -0.23% Walmart Inc. (WMT) $157.57 -0.20% Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (WBA) $26.60 -0.15%

S&P 500 - Risers

Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR) $0.55 7.39% Dish Network Corp. (DISH) $5.66 6.79% CenturyLink Inc. (LUMN) $1.85 2.21% Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) $148.76 1.84% Sealed Air Corp. (SEE) $36.97 1.73% Mid Amer Apt Commun (MAA) $136.55 1.67% Western Union Co. (WU) $11.94 1.62% Tyson Foods Inc. (TSN) $53.67 1.61% Nike Inc. (NKE) $108.82 1.58% Macerich Co (MAC) $15.94 1.53%

S&P 500 - Fallers

Apache Corp. (APA) $36.15 -2.74% Hess Corp. (HES) $144.74 -2.58% Eog Resources Inc. (EOG) $121.66 -2.37% Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC) $146.88 -2.00% Marathon Oil Corp. (MRO) $24.38 -1.89% Occidental Petroleum Corp. (OXY) $59.97 -1.75% Diamondback Energy Inc. (FANG) $155.33 -1.75% Pioneer Natural Resources Co. (PXD) $224.85 -1.74% ConocoPhillips (COP) $116.68 -1.68% Newmont Corporation (NEM) $41.70 -1.60%

Nasdaq 100 - Risers

Dish Network Corp. (DISH) $5.66 6.79% Qurate Retail Inc. (QRTEA) $0.89 3.13% Baidu Inc. (BIDU) $117.82 3.00% Trip.com Group Limited (TCOM) $35.22 2.86% JD.com, Inc. (JD) $28.51 2.74% NetEase Inc. Ads (NTES) $89.30 1.91% Seagate Technology Plc (STX) $86.79 1.30% Wynn Resorts Ltd. (WYNN) $91.69 1.17% Liberty Global plc Series C (LBTYK) $18.53 0.98% Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD) $81.15 0.97%

Nasdaq 100 - Fallers

Tesla Inc (TSLA) $253.18 -3.16% KLA-Tencor Corp. (KLAC) $586.27 -0.88% Asml Holdings N.V. (ASML) $757.85 -0.81% Biomarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (BMRN) $97.12 -0.78% Fastenal Co. (FAST) $64.84 -0.77% Micron Technology Inc. (MU) $86.00 -0.76% Intel Corp. (INTC) $50.39 -0.73% Cintas Corp. (CTAS) $601.91 -0.71% Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT) $163.12 -0.66% Lam Research Corp. (LRCX) $789.67 -0.66%

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Important information: This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment you should speak to one of Fidelity’s advisers or an authorised financial adviser of your choice. When you are thinking about investing in shares, it’s generally a good idea to consider holding them alongside other investments in a diversified portfolio of assets. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.

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