Close Update: Stocks Lose Ground on Oil and Upcoming French Elections, But Close Higher on The Week

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Weighed down by another sell-off in oil and the upcoming French elections, the major benchmark averages closed lower on Friday but clawed back some of their earlier losses after President Trump announced plans to unveil a tax reform plan next week.

But despite Friday's lower close, the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite all ended the week higher, ending a two-week losing streak. The S&P 500 gained 0.8%, the Dow was up 0.4%, but it was the Nasdaq Composite that outperformed with a 1.8% gain from last Friday's close.

Before the open, stocks were cautiously higher as selling pressure associated with the upcoming French election was mitigated by upbeat first quarter results from Dow component stocks Visa ( V ) and General Election ( GE ).

Oil continued to lose ground as U.S. shale production begins to compromise recent production cuts made by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. Brent crude oil futures lost another 2% in value today, tugging the energy sector of the S&P 500 down 0.48% on Friday.

Geopolitical tensions originating from North Korea were eclipsed by nervousness ahead of Sunday's first round French presidential elections. The risk that nationalist and anti-EU candidate Marine Le Pen wins a majority over moderate candidate Emmanuel Macron lured risk-adverse investors out of European assets and reverberated through U.S. markets.

Friday's economic data introduced early weakness across the major averages as the purchasing manager's preliminary April indices in both the services and manufacturing sectors declined from March.

Housing data was upbeat, however, as March existing home sales rose 4.3% to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.71 million versus the consensus estimate for a gain of 2.3% to a SAAR of 5.605 million.

Here's where the markets stand at the close:


Dow Jones Industrial Index was down 30.95 points (-0.15%)

S&P 500 was down 7.15 points (-0.30%)

Nasdaq Composite Index was down 6.26 points (-0.11%)


FTSE 100 was down 0.06%

Nikkei 225 was up 1.03%

Hang Seng Index was down 0.06%

Shanghai China Composite Index was up 0.03%


(+) STV (+34.65%) Declared special cash dividend

(+) CAI (+19.81%) Beat Q1 EPS and revenue estimates

(+) PFPT (+9.37%) Reported positive Q1 and raised FY17 guidance


(-) XBIT (-39.88%) Said positive European vote on colorectral treatment unlikely

(-) CLW (-15.06%) Misses Q1 earnings estimates on better-than-expected revenue

(-) ONTX (-14.92%) Priced public offering of 2.5 million shares at $2.10

(-) ADMP (-12.50%) Announced underwritten public offering of stock

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Copyright (C) 2016 All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

This article appears in: Investing , Stocks
Referenced Symbols: V , GE

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