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12-Jan2019

US markets end marginally lower on Friday

The US markets ended marginally lower on Friday on account of profit taking, with traders cashing in on the gains seen over the five-session winning streak. Concerns about the ongoing government shutdown and skepticism about a potential trade deal between the US and China also weighed on the markets. Selling pressure remained somewhat subdued, however, with recent upward momentum helping to limit the downside for the markets.  On the economic front, the Labor Department released a report showing a slight drop in consumer prices in the month of December. The Labor Department said its consumer price index slipped by 0.1 percent in December after coming in unchanged in November. The slight drop in consumer prices matched street estimates. Energy prices showed another significant decrease during the month, plunging by 3.5 percent in December following a 2.2 percent slump in the previous month. A steep drop in gasoline prices led the way lower, with gas prices plummeting by 7.5 percent in December after tumbling by 4.2 percent in November.

On the other hand, the report said food prices climbed by 0.4 percent in December, the largest increase since May of 2014. Prices for fruits and vegetables surged higher. Excluding food and energy prices, the core consumer price index rose by 0.2 percent in December, matching the increases seen in the two previous months as well as expectations. Higher prices for shelter, recreation, medical care, and household furnishings and operations more than offset lower prices for airline fares, used cars and trucks, and motor vehicle insurance.

Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 5.97 points or 0.02 percent to 23995.95, Nasdaq lost 14.59 points or 0.21 percent to 6971.48 and S&P 500 was down by 0.38 points or 0.01 percent to 2596.26.


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