U.S. stocks fell Friday but closed off the lows of the day following President Donald Trump’s promise of a much-awaited tax-overhal plan and ahead of the first round of France’s closely watched presidential election.
Trump told the Associated Press he would be releasing a “massive tax cut” package in the coming week. A day earlier, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Trump’s tax overhaul will be unveiled in the near future.
The SP 500 index
finished down 7.15 points, or 0.3%, at 2,348.69, after an earlier 11-point decline. Nine of the 11 main sectors finished lower. Telecoms and financial shares led losses, closing down 1.6% and 0.9%, respectively.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average
closed down 30.95 points, or 0.2%, at 20,547.76, trimming what had been a 73-point retreat, with shares of both General Electric Co.
and Verizon Communications Inc.
finishing down 2.4%.
The Nasdaq Composite Index
retreated from the record close set Thursday, falling 6.26 points, or 0.1%, to close at 5,910.52, after having dipped below the 5,900 mark earlier in the session.
For the week, the Dow industrials rose 0.5%, the SP 500 advanced 0.9%, and the Nasdaq surged 1.8%, following two weeks of declines.
“What’s impressive ahead of the [French] election is we’ve been able to hold yesterday’s gains so far,” said Mark Kepner, managing director of sales and trading at Themis Trading. On Thursday, benchmarks rallied nearly 1%.
Lack of progress in passing and implementing tax reforms have put a damper on the monthslong rally that followed the presidential elections in November. But markets continued to react to comments on policy changes by the Trump administration cabinet members, such as Mnuchin and White House chief economic adviser Gary Cohn.
See: 5 charts show what the French presidential election means for financial markets
Late Thursday, a gunman opened fire on the Champs-Élysées boulevard in Paris, killing a police officer and wounding two others. European stocks were mixed with the Stoxx Europe 600
finishing fractionally higher and France’s CAC 40 index
closing down 0.4%.
The attack could give a late-campaign surge in support for anti-immigration, far-right candidate Marine Le Pen in the tight presidential race, analysts said. Le Pen has vowed to hold a referendum on France’s membership of the European Union, fueling fears of a breakup of the bloc. One of her three key rivals, far-left euroskeptic Jean Luc Mélenchon, has also pledged to renegotiate EU treaties and hold a referendum.
See: Here’s how the French election could test the U.S. stock market’s resilience
Far-left firebrand Mélenchon shakes up French election
A late surge in support of far-left candidate, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, has thrown open the first round of the French Presidential election which takes place this weekend. Photo: Getty Images
Read: Here’s how France’s hotly contested election could spark market turmoil
the strongest pace since February 2007.
In Federal Reserve news, Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari warned that curbing immigration to the U.S. will result in slower economic growth, while Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said weak economic growth in the first quarter is likely temporary and that rate increases should be able to proceed as planned.
Earnings season: The results season continued at full speed on Friday with General Electric Co.
reporting earnings ahead of expectations. But shares finished down 2.4%.
Honeywell International Inc.
also beat forecasts, sending the shares up 2.7%.
on the other hand, fell 2.2%, after revenue missed Wall Street estimates.
After the market closed on Thursday, Visa Inc.
reported better-than-expected revenue, but shares were flat on Friday.
Shares of Mattel Inc.
dropped nearly 14% after the toy maker’s quarterly results out late Thursday fell short of Wall Street estimates.
Other markets: Stocks in Asia closed mainly higher, boosted by the higher close in the U.S. on Thursday.
fell 2.2% to settle at $49.62 a barrel while gold prices
settled up 0.4% at $1,289.10 an ounce. The dollar inched higher against other major currencies, with the ICE Dollar Index
up 0.2%. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note
was virtually flat at 2.229%.
—Sara Sjolin in London contributed to this article.