Major U.S. stock indexes ended essentially flat Friday after a day of mostly listless trading. Even so, the S&P 500 closed out the week with its fifth straight weekly gain.
The benchmark index squeaked out a tiny gain that was good enough for its 35th record high this year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average also notched a slight gain, giving it its 22nd all-time high of 2019. The Nasdaq composite closed with a modest loss, snapping the index’s 11-day winning streak.
Investors drove up shares of stocks in defensive sectors, including household goods makers, real estate companies and utilities. Those gains were checked by losses in energy, financial and communication services stocks. Bond yields fell.
With two days of trading left in 2019, the market is on track for its best year since 2013.
“Some of the selling today is just profit-taking,” said Ben Phillips, chief investment officer at EventShares. “People are just maybe checking out for the rest of the year and taking some profits on positions because there are a lot of things that are up meaningfully.”
The S&P 500 inched up 0.11 points, or less than 0.1%, to 3,240.02. The index has finished with a weekly gain 11 out of the past 12 weeks.
The Dow rose 23.87 points, or 0.1%, to 28,645.26. The Nasdaq composite slipped 15.77 points, or 0.2%, to 9,006.62.
Smaller company stocks took the brunt of the selling. The Russell 2000 index fell 8.64 points, or 0.5%, to 1,669.03. More stocks declined than rose on the New York Stock Exchange.
Bond prices rose. The 10-year Treasury yield fell to 1.87% from 1.90% late Thursday.
A truce in the 17-month U.S.-China trade war and positive signs for the economy have helped keep investors in a buying mood. Fears about a possible recession have also faded since the summer after the Federal Reserve cut interest rates three times and signaled that it will keep them low for a long time.