Stocks Edged Lower in Short Session

U,S. stocks finished a little lower on Thursday as a drop in energy stocks kept a lid on holiday cheer in a shortened Christmas Eve trading session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 50.44 points, or 0.29%, to 17,552.17 and finished the week 2.5% higher. The S&P 500 was down 3.30 points, or 0.16%, to 2,060.99 and booked a 2.8% gain over the week. The Nasdaq Composite was up 2.56 points, or 0.05%, to 5,048.49 and recorded a 2.6% gain over the week.

Retailers are struggling to meet even modest forecasts for the holiday shopping season this year after the “Super Saturday” before Christmas failed to live up to its nickname, industry research groups said. This year Super Saturday weekend sales in stores and online rose 4 percent to $55 billion, after a 2.5 percent gain last year, according to retail consultancy and private-equity fund Customer Growth Partners.

One week after the Federal Reserve raised short-term interest rates slightly from record lows, the average on a 30-year fixed mortgage went the other way: It dipped to 3.96 percent from 3.97 percent last week, mortgage giant Freddie Mac said Thursday.

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