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US stocks mixed after five-day streak of record highs

NEW YORKk, Feb 17: Wall Street stocks finished mixed on Thursday (Feb 16) as a five-day streak of record highs finally began to show signs of fatigue.

The Dow Jones Industrial eked out another record close, but the S&P 500 and Nasdaq both declined, ending a stretch in which all three major indices closed at records.

Stocks have been on a tear since President Donald Trump on Feb 10 pledged to introduce his promised a tax-cut plan soon.

Analysts have noted that the outlook for the policies remains murky due to questions about how the tax cut cuts will be financed, as well as various White House controversies, most recently over Trump’s relationship with Russia.

But analysts attributed the pause to profit taking more than to a rising concern that Trump’s programme could be derailed.

“Valuations are stretched, so it would not be a surprise to see investors take some chips off the table,” said Bill Lynch, director of investment at Hinsdale Associates.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 7.91 points (0.04 per cent) to finish at 20,619.77.

The broad-based S&P 500 dipped 2.03 points (0.09 per cent) to 2,347.21, and the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index also lost 4.54 points (0.08 per cent) to end at 5,814.90.

Cisco Systems jumped 2.4 per cent after reporting second-quarter earnings of 57 cents per share, a penny above analyst expectations.

Coca-Cola gained 1.9 per cent after announcing it was hiking its quarterly dividend by six per cent to 37 cents per share.

Kraft Heinz fell 4.2 per cent after reporting a 3.7 per cent drop in fourth-quarter revenues to $6.8 billion. Other food companies also declined, with Mondelez International losing 4.8 per cent and Kellogg 1.8 per cent.

TripAdvisor dropped 11.0 per cent after reporting earnings of just US$1 million in the second quarter. Analysts warned that heavy investments in marketing will pressure profits in 2017.

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