U.S. stocks finished lower Thursday with the Dow industrials falling a fifth straight session as investors exercised caution ahead of President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration on Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 72.32 points, or 0.4%, to finish at 19,732.40, with shares of Exxon Mobil Corp. and Merck & Co. leading decliners. The S&P 500 index closed down 8.20 points, or 0.4%, at 2,263.69, with the real-estate and utilities sectors the weakest performers. The Nasdaq Composite index finished down 15.57 points, or 0.3%, at 5,540.08.
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