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Overnight Markets: US stocks down after seven-day rally

Overnight Markets: US stocks down after seven-day rally

US stocks fell from record levels on Thursday as financial and energy companies slumped and technology stocks pared earlier gains.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose eight points, or 0.04%, to close at 20,620, the S&P 500 lost two points, or 0.09%, to 2,347 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped five points, or 0.08%, to 5,815.

Investors digested recent gains and sold banks yesterday that have been big winners in the "Trump rally".  Signs of an improving economy and promises by President Donald Trump to cut corporate taxes and reduce financial regulations have been behind much of the recent gains. Now, with a strong fourth-quarter earnings season mostly complete, many investors say they need concrete signs of progress from Trump to justify more gains.

The energy sector fell 1.37%, following oil prices lower as traders weighed swelling US inventories against possible renewed efforts by major oil producers to reduce a price-sapping glut.

The S&P 500 consumer discretionary index lost 0.44%, with TripAdvisor sinking 10.97% after posting lower-than-expected quarterly revenue and profit.

Cisco Systems rose 2.38% after its quarterly report late the day before, helping push the Dow into positive territory by the close of trading after spending most of the day with a loss.

Wells Fargo slipped 0.73% after Credit Suisse downgraded its stock to "neutral" from "outperform". NetEase jumped 14.08% following the Chinese online game developer's revenue beat.

Coca-Cola rose 1.9% after announcing it was hiking its quarterly dividend by six per cent to 37 cents per share.

Kraft Heinz fell 4.2% after reporting a 3.7% drop in fourth-quarter revenues to $6.8 billion. Other food companies also declined, with Mondelez International losing 4.8% and Kellogg 1.8%.

In Asia, share markets were mostly lower on Friday, tracking losses in the US from the Thursday session, as Samsung Group stocks were in focus following the arrest of its chief.

South Korea’s Kospi Index was down 0.15%, while in Japan the Nikkei Stock Average fell 0.56% and the Topix was off by 0.48%. Australia's the benchmark ASX 200 traded down 0.21%.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index was off by 0.16%. Chinese mainland shares were near flat, with the Shanghai composite trading at 3,231 and the Shenzhen composite was up 0.2% at 1,962.

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