The US markets ended the choppy day of trade mostly in red terrain as some traders were away from their desks, looking to get a head start on the long Memorial Day weekend. Geopolitical uncertainty also kept some traders on the sidelines following President Donald Trump's decision to call off the historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. In a post on Twitter on Friday morning, Trump seemed pleased with the North Korean response to the cancellation of the planned meeting. The tweet from Trump came after the North's state-run Korean Central News Agency carried a statement by Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan. In the statement, Kim indicated North Korea remains willing to hold talks with the U.S. and expressed a willingness to give Trump the time and opportunity to reconsider his decision.
Meanwhile, traders largely shrugged off the latest batch of U.S. economic data, including a report from the Commerce Department showing a bigger than expected decrease in durable goods orders in the month of April. The durable goods orders slumped by 1.7 percent in April after spiking by an upwardly revised 2.7 percent in March. The street had expected orders to drop by 1.4 percent. Excluding a pullback in orders for transportation equipment, however, durable goods orders climbed by 0.9 percent in April after rising by 0.4 percent in March. Ex-transportation orders had been expected to increase by 0.5 percent. A separate report from the University of Michigan unexpectedly showed a modest deterioration in consumer sentiment in the month of May.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 58.67 points or 0.24 percent to 24,753.09 and the S&P 500 was down by 6.43 points or 0.24% to 2,721.33, while the Nasdaq was up by 9.43 points or 0.13 percent to 7,433.85.