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Wednesday, 17 January 2018

US stocks end banner year on losing note

AFP , Saturday 30 Dec 2017
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A sell-off in some tech giants weighed on the Nasdaq and the broader market Friday, the final trading session of an otherwise buoyant 2017.

Tech giants Amazon and Apple were among the bigger losers as US stocks weakened in the last hour of trading, a fall that likely was exacerbated by light trading volumes in the holiday period.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.5 percent to end 2017 at 24,719.22, a sour finish to a year that saw the blue-chip index notch the most records since its creation in 1896.

The broad-based S&P 500 index also dropped 0.5 percent to close the year at 2,673.61, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index tumbled 0.7 percent to end at 6,903.39.

Apple, the biggest company by market capitalization, fell 1.1 percent after apologizing to customers for a problem with its older iPhone batteries that slowed performance, and announcing it will offer discount replacement batteries for some models.

Amazon dropped 1.4 percent after the online retailer again found itself under fire from President Donald Trump, who took to Twitter to accuse the US Postal Service of undercharging the company for deliveries.

Other shares that fell by more than one percent included Priceline, Symantec and the biotech company Gilead Sciences.

Goldman Sachs dropped 0.7 percent after disclosing that it expects a $5 billion earnings hit in the fourth quarter due to taxes on the repatriation of overseas profits under the new tax reform law.

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