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Wall Street ends the week on a weak note as investors remain focused on the tax bill

  • The tax bill is expected to encounter obstacles in the Senate.
  • Headlines from N. Korea further hurt the market sentiment on Friday.
  • Sports and apparel retailers record robust gains on upbeat earnings figures.

Following yesterday's sharp rally, major equity indexes in the U.S. started the day under pressure on Friday and closed the day with modest losses as investors speculate the fate of the tax bill.

Although the House of Representatives on Thursday approved the latest version of the tax plan proposal, Senate Republicans are already voicing their oppositions to the bill, keeping the investors on edge. According to a recent Reuters poll, more than 40 of 60 economists who took part in the survey don't expect the Trump administration to be able to get the legislation passed before the end of the year. “Everybody is looking at that tax plan and wondering exactly what are the devils in the details,” Bruce McCain, chief investment strategist at Key Private Bank in Cleveland, told Reuters.

On other news, Han Tae Song, North Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations, said that North Korea wouldn't negotiate with the U.S. as long as the joint military exercises with South Korea continued. The S&P 500 Information Technology (SPLRCT), which reacts sharply to changes in the market sentiment, closed the day 0.67% lower. On the other hand, The S&P 500 Energy Sector (SPNY) took advantage of the recovering crude oil prices and erased a portion of its weekly losses by gaining 0.43% on Friday. 

In the meantime, higher-than-expected sales and earnings results from apparel retailers boosted the S&P 500 Apparel Retail Sub-index, which added more than 6% on the day.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost fell 100.60 points, or 0.43%, to 23,357.76, the S&P 500 dropped 6.89 points, or 0.27%, to 2,578.75 and the Nasdaq Composite lost 11 points, or 0.16%, to 6,782.29. For the week, these three major indexes fell 0.27%, 0.13%, and 0.47% respectively.

Headlines from the NA session

  • US: Latest data supports December Fed hike - Wells Fargo
  • Gold rallies toward $1300 as investors seek refuge
  • NY Fed's GDP Nowcast rises to 3.8% for Q4 of 2017
  • US Key events for next week - Danske Bank
  • Kansas Fed: Growth in Tenth District manufacturing activity slowed slightly but remained solid
  • Atlanta Fed's GDPNow rises to 3.4% from 3.2% for Q4
  • US: Housing construction back in action - Wells Fargo
  • North Korea rules out negotiations with Washington - Reuters

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