US stocks down as investors cash in gains

Wall Street pulled back moderately today as investors cashed in gains from the previous session’s big rally, concerned that the market might have advanced too quickly. The major indexes still managed to end the week with a solid advance.

Wall Street pulled back moderately today as investors cashed in gains from the previous session’s big rally, concerned that the market might have advanced too quickly. The major indexes still managed to end the week with a solid advance.

Trading was choppy due to quadruple-witching day, the quarterly expiration of index futures and options as well as individual stock futures and options.

“Investors more or less are taking a pause after a pretty nice run up,” said Richard J Nash, chief market strategist at Victory Capital Management. “With the lack of any real economic data today, folks might just be booking some profits into the weekend.”

The Dow Jones industrials closed down 14.31, or 0.2%, at 9.644.82, having gained 113 points in the previous session to their first close above 9,600 since June 18, 2002.

The broader market also finished lower. The Nasdaq composite index fell 3.81, or 0.2%, to 1,905.74, after climbing to its highest close in 18 months on Thursday. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index declined 3.27, or 0.3%, to 1,036.31, having finished at its highest level in 15 months on Thursday.

For the week, the Dow rose 1.8%, the Nasdaq gained 2.7%, and the S&P advanced 1.7%. The Dow has gained in six of the last seven weeks – the Nasdaq and S&P have posted wins in five of the past six weeks.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners 5 to 4 on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was moderate.

The Russell 2000 index, a barometer of smaller company stocks, rose 0.74, or 0.1%, to 520.20.

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