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U.S. major indices move lower on Friday, but close up for the month

Stock Markets Jul 31, 2015 04:33PM ET
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The Dow, NASDAQ and S&P all fell slightly on Friday -- U.S. stocks fell slightly on Friday, as the lowest quarterly reading of national wage growth in more than three decades bolstered arguments for a delayed interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve.

Despite minor losses overall on the final day of trading in July, all three major indices closed higher for the month – one that saw the NASDAQ Composite index soar to record intraday and all-time highs. On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial and the S&P 500 Composite index each posted minor losses, as energy stocks weighed. Crude prices plummeted by approximately 20% on the month amid a continuing glut of oversupply, while disappointing earnings by Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) and Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) applied downward pressure on the Dow.

The Dow lost 55.52 or 0.31% to close at 17,690.46, while the NASDAQ inched down 0.51 or 0.01% to 5,128.28. The Dow closed the month up by less than 0.5%.

The S&P 500 dropped 4.71 or 0.22% to 2,103.92, as energy stocks plunged by more than 2.5% on the session. Stocks in the Technology, Financials and Basic Materials industries also lagged as six of 10 sectors closed in the red. For the month, the index gained more than 1.78%.

The top performer on the Dow was Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO), which gained 0.55 or 1.34% to 41.11, as its namesake bottler in Western Europe engaged in talks to merge with German and Iberian bottling companies. Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc (NYSE:CCE), which operates the company's bottling division, soared more than 12% to 51.04. Chevron ended the session as the worst performer, falling 4.76 or 5.12% to 88.48.

The biggest gainer on the NASDAQ was Liberty Ventures (NASDAQ:LVNTA), which rose 1.4 or 3.48% to 41.50, after receiving a buy rating from analysts at Brean Capital. It also came after the Colorado-based media conglomerate disclosed insider trading activities to the Securities and Exchange Commission in a Form 4 filing earlier this month. The worst performer was Micron Technology Inc (NASDAQ:MU), which fell more than 6.8% to 18.53.

The top performer on the S&P 500 was Expedia Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE), which surged 13.42 or 12.47% to 121.03. On Thursday, the online travel company increased its dividend after reporting quarterly net profits above analysts' expectations.

Hanesbrands Inc (NYSE:HBI) finished the session as the worst performer, amid mixed quarterly earnings and revenues on Friday. It capped a frustrating week for the Winston Salem, North Carolina-based clothing company, which was victimized by a hacking attack on one of its online databases earlier in the week. Shares in Hanes fell 9.37% to 30.94.

On the New York Stock Exchange, advancing issues outnumbered declining ones by a 1,971 to 1,167 margin.

U.S. major indices move lower on Friday, but close up for the month

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