Stocks Trade Lower but Remain On Track for Weekly Gains - TheStreet

Stocks traded lower on Friday, Dec. 22, in what is likely to be one of the final active trading days of the year as investors put the finishing touches on a record year for U.S. and global equities.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 10 points, or 0.04%, while the S&P 500 traded down slightly after U.S. lawmakers agreed terms of a spending bill that will avert a near-government shutdown following the passage of the $1.5 trillion Republican tax reform bill earlier this week. The Nasdaq fell 0.13%. The Dow and S&P 500 remain on track for their fifth straight weekly gain.

Nike Inc. (NKE) - Get Report shares fell 3.3% after the world's biggest sports shoe maker forecast slowing sales growth over the holiday quarter as it continues to lose market share in its key North American market to rival Adidas AG (ADDYY) .

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Also leading the Dow lower was UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH) - Get Report , which said it agreed to buy Chile's Empresas Banmedica for about $2.8 billion. UnitedHealth fell 1%.

Eric Schmidt will step down from his role as executive chairman of Alphabet Inc.'s (GOOGL) - Get Report board.

Shares of Alphabet, the parent of Google, fell slightly early Friday.

John Schnatter, founder and CEO of Papa John's International Inc. (PZZA) - Get Report , resigned from his position effective Jan. 1, following controversial statements he made last month criticizing the National Football League's handling of players kneeling during the national anthem. The stock declined 3.2%.

As expected, Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) - Get Report  on Friday announced that it had rejected an 11-person slate of dissident director candidates nominated by Broadcom Inc. AVGO and its partner Silver Lake Partners.

Quacomm shares gained 0.3%, while Broadcom also rose 0.3%.

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Roche Holding AG agreed to acquire U.S. cancer medicines developer Ignyta Inc. (RXDX) in an all-cash deal that values the San Diego target at $1.7 billion. 

The Swiss pharma company will pay $27 a share for Ignyta, which saw its shares jump more than 72% to $26.78. 

Durable goods orders in the U.S. rose 1.3% in November, below economists' estimates that called for an increase of 2.0%. Excluding transportation, orders declined 0.1%.

Consumer spending rose 0.6% in November, while the savings rate in the U.S. fell to 2.9%, the lowest since 2007.

New homes sales in November jumped 17.5% to an annual pace of 733,000, the Commerce Department said. Economists expected new home sales to fall 5.0%.

Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury bond yields slipped to around 2.488%, while 2-year note yields held at around 1.891%.

Asian shares ended the session mostly to the upside, while European equities traded lower.

Bitcoin prices continued their three-day decline, falling below the $12,000 mark earlier on bitstamp. Most recently the cryptocurrency traded at $12,400. It had traded close to $20,000 earlier this week.

Global oil prices weakened on Friday, with Brent contracts down 1.2% to $64.12 a barrel while West Texas Intermediate crude contracts were 0.5% lower at $58.07.

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