Stock failed to extend their five-day winning run and ended marginally lower Friday as declining oil prices hurt commodities and investors pulled money out of stocks.  Bellwether FedEx’s improved outlook failed to cheer investors.  Gold prices closed above $1,000 level, indicating investors still want to play it safe. The dollar plunged to its lowest level of the year against a basket of currencies.

After closing Thursday at its highest level since October, the Dow Jones industrial average retreated 22.07 points, or 0.2%, to 9,605.41 on a quiet trading day.  The NASDAQ composite index eased 3.12 points, or 0.2%, to 2,080.90, and the broader Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 1.41 points, or 0.1%, to 1,042.73.  On the New York Stock Exchange, 1.29 billion shares exchanged hands and about four stocks rose for every three that fell.  On the week, the DJIA rose 1.7%, the S&P 500 advanced 2.6% and the NASDAQ was the best performer, rising 3.1%.

This morning’s stock futures are pointing to a lower opening on the Wall Street amid reports of an escalating trade dispute between China and the US.  Dow Jones industrial average futures fell 61, or 0.6%, to 9,531. Standard & Poor’s 500 index futures fell 8.00, or 0.8%, to 1,029.30, while Nasdaq 100 index futures fell 13.75, or 0.8%, to 1,669.75.

Bond prices were mixed Friday after their impressive performance the previous day.  The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell to 3.31% from 3.35% late Thursday.  The slide in oil prices sent shares of energy companies lower.  Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) slipped 1% to $69.98.  FedEx (NYSE:FDX) shares jumped 6.4% after the company said it now expects to earn 58 cents a share in the first quarter, compared with its prior view of 44 cents a share.  The company said it sees second-quarter earnings of between 65 cents and 95 cents per share, versus its earlier prediction of 70 cents.

For the week all ten S&P500 sectors recorded gains, led by oil and gas (+4.7%) basic materials (+4.6%), and industrials (+4.1%), the sectors considered most economically sensitive.  The sectors also closely reflected changes in the dollar trade, which experienced a fall to a 52-week low.

Reports that the United States has imposed a new 35% tariff on Chinese tire imports met with a retaliatory Chinese response as Beijing announced a dumping and subsidy probe into U.S. chicken imports.  Such measures, however, are likely to results in trade protectionism that could prove especially damaging to emerging countries’ growth prospects.

Companies reporting their results include Best Buy (NYSE:BBY), FedEx (NYSE:FDX), Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL), and Palm (NASDAQ:PALM).  Those scheduled to speak include Fed’s Duke on regulatory reform at 8:35 AM ET, Fed’s Lacker on financial regulation at 12:30 PM ET and Fed’s Yellen on the economic outlook at 3:50 PM ET. President Obama will also address financial market reform as the anniversary of Lehman’s demise is acknowledged.

Zacks Investment Research