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Stocks slide on final trading day of 2017

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Traders work on the floor at the closing bell Friday at the New York Stock Exchange.
(Bryan R. Smith / AFP/Getty Images)

Wall Street capped 2017 with a loss, weighed down by a broad slide in light trading ahead of the New Year’s holiday.

Technology companies, banks and healthcare stocks accounted for much of the market’s decline. Energy stocks also fell, even as the price of U.S. crude oil surged to its highest level in more than two years.

Despite the downbeat end to the week, the U.S. stock market finished 2017 with its strongest year since 2013.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index, the broadest measure of the stock market, gained 19.4% for the year, more than double its gain in 2016. Including dividends, the total return was 22.5% as of late Thursday.

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The Dow Jones industrial average ended the year with a 25.1% gain, setting 71 all-time highs along the way.

The Nasdaq composite notched the biggest gain, an increase of 28.2%, while the Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks closed out 2017 with a gain of 13.1%.

“It’s been the year that surprised everybody,” said J.J. Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade. “It was truly buy-on-the-dip, and that paid off better than anyone possibly expected.”

On Friday, many investors opted to pocket some of their gains, especially in technology stocks, which led the market with a gain of 36.9%. Chip maker KLA-Tencor was among the sector’s big decliners, dropping $2.78, or 2.6%, to $105.07.

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Traders also sold off healthcare and financials stocks, both of which rose 20% this year. Healthcare management company Centene fell $2.02, or 2%, to $100.88, while SunTrust Banks gave up 85 cents, or 1.3%, to $64.59.

Friday’s slide pulled the market lower for the week.

The S&P 500 ended the day down 13.93 points, or 0.5%, to 2,673.61. The Dow dropped 118.29 points, or 0.5%, to 24,719.22. The Nasdaq fell 46.77 points, or 0.7%, to 6,903.39. The Russell 2000 index fell 13.42 points, or 0.9%, to 1,535.51.

Oil and gas futures finished broadly higher Friday. Benchmark U.S. crude added 58 cents, or 1%, to settle at $60.42 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That’s the highest closing price of the year and the first time U.S. crude has finished above $60 a barrel since June 2015.

Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, gained 71 cents, or 1.1%, to $66.87 per barrel in London.

Gold added $12.10, or 0.9%, to $1,309.30 an ounce.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.41% from 2.43% late Thursday.

The dollar finished the year weaker for the first time since 2012. The ICE U.S. Dollar index, which compares the value of the dollar to a basket of major currencies, declined nearly 10% this year, its biggest drop since 2003.

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The price of bitcoin was down 1.1% to $14,263, according to the tracking site CoinDesk. Bitcoin futures on the Chicago Board Options Exchange Futures Exchange picked up 5.8% to $14,550.


UPDATES:

3:55 p.m.: This article has been updated with the market’s close.

This article was originally published at 8:05 a.m.


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