Wall Street Closing

New York, Rabi’I 25, 1438, Dec 24, 2016, SPA — U.S. stocks rose slightly on Friday ahead of the year-end holidays, but the Dow industrials again failed to reach the psychologically important level of 20,000.
Entering Friday’s session, the blue-chip index was about 0.4 percent away from hitting 20,000, having come within 13 points of the level earlier this week. For the week, the three major indexes posted slight gains.
Trading volume evaporated this week, as most investors and traders have left their offices ahead of Christmas, to be held on Sunday. U.S. financial markets will be closed Monday in observance of the holiday.
In U.S. economic news, sales of new homes jumped a bigger-than-expected 5.2 percent in November, and new-home sales have increased 16.5 percent over the past 12 months amid a strong jobs market and low mortgage rates.
The U.S. dollar fell slightly against a basket of other currencies. Gold rose slightly as the dollar retreated from this week’s 14-year high, with futures for February delivery settling at $1,133.60 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Oil prices were little changed ahead of the year-end holidays, though crude still is trading around its highest since mid-2015, supported by a deal by producers to lower output by nearly 1.8 million barrels per day starting January 1. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 7 cents to $53.02 a barrel. Over the past five sessions, WTI rose 2.2 percent, marking its second consecutive week of gains.
The Dow Jones industrial average was little changed, rising 14.93 to 19,933.81. Sixteen of the index’s 30 components rose, led by healthcare giant UnitedHealth, whose shares advanced 0.9 percent. Microsoft was the biggest decliner, losing 0.5 percent.
The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 2.83, or 0.1 percent, to 2,263.79. Healthcare led six sectors higher, and consumer discretionary led five sectors lower.
The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index rose 15.27, or 0.3 percent, to 5,462.69. Shares of Apple rose 0.5 percent.
–SPA
11:18 LOCAL TIME 08:18 GMT