Stocks end final trading session of 2021 on quiet note

Major US stock indexes ended December with solid gains, capping a banner year for the market

U.S. stocks on Friday ended the final trading session on a quiet note after seesawing around the flatline for most of the day.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 59.78 points, or 0.16%, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite fell 0.26% and 0.61%, respectively.

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Major U.S. stock indexes ended December with solid gains, capping a banner year for the market. The S&P 500 is headed for a gain of more than 27% for 2021, the best performance since 2019, another standout year.

On Thursday, the S&P 500 index slipped 0.3% a day after notching a record high, closing at 4,778.73. The Dow, which also set a new high Wednesday, fell 0.2% to 36,398.08. The Nasdaq also slipped 0.2%, to 15,741.56.

Technology companies accounted for a big share of Wall Street's late-afternoon slide. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 35911.81 -201.81 -0.56%
SP500 S&P 500 4662.85 +3.82 +0.08%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 14893.75271 +86.94 +0.59%

U.S. benchmark crude oil lost 75 cents to $76.24 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It picked up 43 cents to $76.99 per barrel on Thursday.

In Europe, London's FTSE was off 0.3% and France's CAC slipped 0.3%. Markets in Germany were closed.

In Asia, Tokyo and many other regional markets were closed.

INITIAL JOBLESS CLAIMS TOTAL 198K, CONTINUING CLAIMS HIT NEW PANDEMIC LOW

Hong Kong jumped 1.2% in New Year’s Eve trading to 23,397.67 and the Shanghai Composite index gained 0.6% to 3,639.78.

A survey released Friday showed Chinese factory activity edged higher in December as supply disruptions eased and export demand weakened.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.