Major Averages Close Lower On The Day But Higher For The Week

Stocks turned in a relatively lackluster performance during trading on Friday before ending the session modestly lower. The tech-heavy Nasdaq reached a new record intraday high in early trading but pulled back into negative territory.

The Nasdaq ended the day just below the unchanged line, edging down 1.33 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 6,047.61. The Dow dipped 40.82 points or 0.2 percent to 20,940.51, and the S&P 500 slipped 4.57 points or 0.2 percent to 2,384.20.

Despite the lower close on the day, the major averages moved notably higher for the week. The Nasdaq surged up by 2.3 percent, while the Dow and the S&P 500 jumped by 1.9 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.

The modest weakness on Wall Street came after President Donald Trump warned of a major conflict with North Korea over its nuclear and missile programs.

“There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely,” Trump said in an interview with Reuters on Thursday.

Trump said he wants to resolve the standoff with North Korea peacefully but argued a diplomatic solution is “very difficult.”

On the U.S. economic front, the Commerce Department released a report showing that economic growth slowed by more than anticipated in the first three months of 2017.

The Commerce Department said gross domestic product increased by 0.7 percent in the first quarter after jumping by 2.1 percent in the fourth quarter. Economists had expected GDP to climb by 1.2 percent.

The weaker than expected increase in GDP in the first quarter represents the worst performance since a 1.2 percent decline in the first quarter of 2014.

Among individual stocks, shares of Intel (INTC) moved notably lower after the semiconductor giant reported first quarter earnings that exceeded analyst estimates but on weaker than expected revenues.

Wearable camera maker GoPro (GPRO) also came under pressure after reporting a narrower than expected first quarter loss but disappointing shipments.

Meanwhile, shares of Alphabet (GOOGL) showed a strong upward move after the parent of Google reported better than expected first quarter earnings and revenues.

Sector News

Semiconductor stocks saw considerable weakness on the day after trending higher in recent sessions. After ending Thursday’s trading at its best closing level in over sixteen years, the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index fell by 1.7 percent.

Cavium (CAVM), Silicon Laboratories (SLAB), and Microsemi (MSCC) turned in some of the semiconductor sector’s worst performances.

Significant weakness was also visible among housing stocks, as reflected by the 1.5 percent loss posted by the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index. The drop by the index came after it ended Thursday’s trading at its best closing level in eleven years.

Banking, transportation, and commercial real estate stocks also saw notable weakness, while substantial strength was visible in the gold and electronic storage sectors.

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