U.S. STOCKS CLOSE LOWER AMID PROFIT-TAKING

U.S. equities were lower at the close on Friday, as losses in the Healthcare, Consumer Goods and Utilities sectors propelled shares lower.

At the close in NYSE, the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.19%, while the S&P 500 index declined 0.24%, and the NASDAQ Composite index declined 0.23%.

The biggest gainers of the session on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were ChevronCorporation (NYSE:CVX), which rose 1.02% or 1.10 points to trade at 109.22 at the close. Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) added 0.69% or 1.01 points to end at 146.34 and The Travelers Companies Inc (NYSE:TRV) was up 0.59% or 0.66 points to 111.84 in late trade.

Biggest losers included Merck & Company Inc (NYSE:MRK), which lost 1.29% or 0.81 points to trade at 61.89 in late trade. Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) declined 1.29% or 1.07 points to end at 82.00 and Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) shed 1.12% or 1.11 points to 98.26.

The top performers on the S&P 500 were CF Industries Holdings Inc (NYSE:CF) which rose 6.90% to 28.96, Ross Stores Inc (NASDAQ:ROST) which was up 3.77% to settle at 68.00 and Weyerhaeuser Company (NYSE:WY) which gained 3.63% to close at 31.14.

The worst performers were Gap Inc (NYSE:GPS) which was down 16.61% to 25.61 in late trade, First Solar Inc (NASDAQ:FSLR) which lost 6.26% to settle at 29.21 and Under Armour Inc C (NYSE:UAc) which was down 6.01% to 23.750 at the close.

The top performers on the NASDAQ Composite were Fuwei Films Holdings Co Ltd (NASDAQ:FFHL) which rose 58.42% to 0.9600, Signal Genetics Inc (NASDAQ:SGNL) which was up 32.36% to settle at 10.0200 and Lombard Medical Inc (NASDAQ:EVAR) which gained 31.68% to close at 0.8300.

The worst performers were Superconductor Technologies Inc (NASDAQ:SCON) which was down 36.67% to 2.0900 in late trade, Hongli Clean Energy Technologies Corp (NASDAQ:CETC) which lost 35.38% to settle at 4.2000 and Wins Finance Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:WINS) which was down 30.42% to 99.00 at the close.

Declining stocks outnumbered rising ones by 1658 to 1499 and 93 ended unchanged; on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, 1385 rose and 1075 declined, while 154 ended unchanged on the New York Stock Exchange.

The CBOE Volatility Index, which measures the implied volatility of S&P 500 options, was down 3.37% to 12.90 a new 1-month low.

In commodities trading, Gold for December delivery was down 0.69% or 8.45 to $1208.45 a troy ounce. Meanwhile, Crude oil for delivery in December rose 0.29% or 0.13 to hit $45.55 a barrel, while the January Brent oil contract rose 0.62% or 0.29 to trade at $46.78 a barrel.

EUR/USD was down 0.31% to 1.0591, while USD/JPY rose 0.71% to 110.90.

The US Dollar Index was up 0.40% at 101.40.

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