Stocks little changed as S&P 500 approaches record high

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For the week, the Dow Jones reported a loss of 0.6%, the S&P 500 reported a loss of 0.3% and the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.4%.

The S&P 500 index slipped after coming within spitting distance of a record high following a four-day rise.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 4.01 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,690.89.

Shares of Apple (AAPL.O) rose 0.8 percent, while those of Amazon (AMZN.O) were up 0.6 percent and Microsoft (MSFT.O) 0.4 percent.

S&P 500 e-minis (ESc1) were up 1.25 points, or 0.04 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis (NQc1) were up 3.25 points, or 0.04 percent.

Chip stocks fell after Morgan Stanley downgraded the USA semiconductor industry saying upside to estimates is hard to come by. Occidental Petroleum, the largest Permian producer, fell 4.2 percent after it maintained a tepid production forecast for the year.

Rite Aid (RAD.N) fell 10.6 percent and was the most actively traded stock after the drug store chain and US grocer Albertsons Cos ABS.N agreed to terminate their merger agreement. The S&P 500 fell 0.7 percent to close at 2,833.28 as financials and materials lagged.

Shares in leading USA banks also plunged significantly with Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and J.P. Morgan Chase all falling over one percent.

Shares of trade-sensitive companies also declined, including Boeing, 3M and Caterpillar, which were all down at least 1 per cent. The number of Tesla shares sold short rebounded and are now higher than before Chief Executive Elon Musk on Tuesday proposed taking the electric vehicle maker private, according to data from financial technology and analytics firm S3 Partners.

The S&P 500 posted 26 new 52-week highs and 3 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 95 new highs and 58 new lows.

About 5.9 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges.

The Nasdaq is up 79.77 points, or 1 per cent. That compares with the 6.3 billion daily average for the past 20 trading days, according to Thomson Reuters data.

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