Indexes drift down to close week

NEW YORK — U.S. stock indexes closed slightly lower Friday after the falling price of oil weighed on energy companies, but the S&P 500 nevertheless closed out its third-straight winning week after a brutal stretch in December.

It was a day full of broken streaks — oil fell for the first time in two weeks, and the yield on the 10-year Treasury note sank to its first loss in more than a week — but the market remained calm through it. Gradual moves for markets in recent days have offered a respite after the tumultuous trading that rocked investors in late 2018.

The S&P 500 edged down by 0.38 point, or less than 0.1 percent, to 2,596.26. Last month, a typical day for the index was a swing 10 times that.

The Dow Jones industrial average dipped 5.97 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 23,995.95. The Nasdaq composite lost 14.59, or 0.2 percent, to 6,971.48, and the Russell 2000 index of smaller stocks ticked up by 1.95, or 0.1 percent, to 1,447.38.

“After some of the initial gains we saw earlier in the week I think it’s just a rally looking tired,” said Willie Delwiche, investment strategist at Baird. “I think it’s probably not much more than a chance for people to digest the move and try to get a sense of whether we’ve had a bounce — and this is it — or maybe a pause as we continue to move higher.”

It was the first loss for the S&P 500 in six days, and much of the reason for it was the falling price of oil. Benchmark U.S. crude lost 1.9 percent to settle at $51.59 per barrel, and Brent crude, the international standard, sank 1.9 percent to $60.48 a barrel.

That helped pull energy stocks in

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