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US Markets end flat on Friday

The US markets traded choppy and ended almost flat on Friday, as traders remained reluctant to make significant moves amid uncertainty about the near-term outlook for the markets following recent strength. The major averages spent much of the day lingering near the unchanged line, as traders digested the mixed batch of earnings news released by several big-name technology companies after the close of trading on Thursday. On the economic front, the Commerce Department released a report showing economic growth in the U.S. slowed by more than anticipated in the final three months of 2016. The gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 1.9 percent in the fourth quarter following a 3.5 percent jump in the third quarter. Street had expected GDP to climb by 2.2 percent. The slowdown was largely due to the impact of fluctuations in trade and said the third and fourth quarters together indicate a strong second half.

Meanwhile, a separate report from the Commerce Department showed durable goods orders unexpectedly declined in December amid a continued decrease in orders for transportation equipment. The Commerce Department said durable goods orders fell by 0.4 percent in December after tumbling by a revised 4.8 percent in November. Economists had expected durable goods orders to jump by 2.6 percent. However, excluding the drop in orders for transportation equipment, durable goods orders rose by 0.5 percent in December after jumping by 1.0 percent in November. The increase matched estimates. The University of Michigan also released a report showing that consumer sentiment unexpectedly improved to its highest level in thirteen years in January.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.16 points or 0.04 percent to 20,093.78, S&P 500 was down by 1.99 points or 0.09 percent to 2,294.69, while the Nasdaq added 5.61 points or 0.10 percent to 5,660.78.

The Indian ADRs closed mostly in green; Dr. Reddy's Lab gained 0.33%, ICICI Bank jumped 0.25%, Infosys rose 0.15% and Wipro was up by 0.02%. On the other hand, Tata Motors declined 0.18% and HDFC Bank was down by 0.15%.

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