U.S. stocks end flat on soft industrial production data; Dow gains 0.06%


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Investing.com - U.S. stocks finished Friday flat to lower after poor industrial production figures washed out appetite for equities and sent investors chasing dollar positions and other safe-haven assets.

At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 0.06%, the S&P 500 index ended down 0.10%, while the Nasdaq Composite index fell 0.21%.

Official data showed that U.S. industrial production slipped 0.1% in January, missing expectations for a 0.2% rise after a 0.4% increase the previous month.

Elsewhere in the U.S., economic indicators came in solid, though the weak industrial production figures coming from the country's mines, factories and utilities weighed on sentiments.

In a preliminary report, the University of Michigan said that its index of consumer sentiment rose to 76.3 in February from 73.8 the previous month, well above expectations for a rise to 74.8.

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported that its index of manufacturing activity beat expectations in February, rising to 10.0 from a reading of -7.8 the previous month.

Analysts had expected the index to improve to -2 this month.

Meanwhile, a G20 meeting is underway in Moscow, and market talk that policymakers won't voice major concern about a sliding yen and other currencies fueled dollar demand as well, giving investors another reason to hang out in the safe an liquid greenback until better news hits stock markets another day.

Leading Dow Jones Industrial Average performers included Coca-Cola, up 1.57%, Walt Disney, up 1.31%, and United Technologies, up 1.18%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average's worst performers included Wal-Mart Stores, down 2.15%, Hewlett-Packard, down 1.35%, and American Express, down 1.07%.

European indices, meanwhile, finished largely lower.

After the close of European trade, the EURO STOXX 50 fell 0.76%, France's CAC 40 fell 0.25%, while Germany's DAX 30 finished down 0.49%. Meanwhile, in the U.K. the FTSE 100 finished up 0.01%.

&nb Investing.com
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