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US STOCKS-Wall St opens little changed in light trading
December 23, 2016 / 2:55 PM / a year ago

US STOCKS-Wall St opens little changed in light trading

* Lockheed falls after Trump says costs of F-35 fighter too high

* U.S.-listed shares of Deutsche Bank rise after DOJ settlement

* Oil prices fall below $55/barrel

* Dow down 0.02 pct, S&P flat, Nasdaq up 0.04 pct (Updates to open)

By Tanya Agrawal

Dec 23 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks opened little changed in light trading on Friday as investors gear up for the Christmas holiday.

Trading volumes have been muted this week, which is also the last full week of trading this year. U.S. markets are shut for the Christmas holiday on Monday.

U.S. stocks fell on Thursday, weighed down by weakness in retailers as investors stepped back from a recent rally fueled by optimism that President-elect Donald Trump’s policies will boost the economy.

The decline pulled the Dow Jones Industrial Average further away from the 20,000 mark after it came very close to breaching the historic level this week.

“With Christmas this weekend and New Year’s just over a week away, global stocks may meander between losses and gains as investors strategize for 2017,” said Lukman Otunuga, research analyst at FXTM in Croydon, London.

Following a sharp rally since the Nov. 8 U.S. election, the Dow is up about 14 percent for the year and the S&P 500 is 11 percent higher on bets that the economy will benefit from Trump’s plans for deregulation and infrastructure spending.

At 9:37 p.m. ET (1437 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average was down 3.69 points, or 0.02 percent, at 19,915.19.

The S&P 500 was up 0.2 points, or 0.008 percent, at 2,261.16.

The Nasdaq Composite was up 2.15 points, or 0.04 percent, at 5,449.58.

Six of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower, with the materials index’s 0.28 percent fall leading the decliners.

Oil slipped below $55 a barrel as a stronger U.S. dollar weighed on commodities and as higher Libyan output threatened to counter some of the supply cuts planned by OPEC and other producers.

Economic data scheduled for release includes new home sales for November, which likely advanced 2.1 percent to 575,000 units after declining 1.9 percent in October. The data is expected at 10 a.m. ET.

A final reading on consumer sentiment in December is expected to remain unchanged at 98.0.

Lockheed Martin fell 1.3 percent to $249.56 after Trump said he viewed costs for the company’s F-35 fighter as too high and that he had asked Boeing to offer a price for an older aircraft. Boeing was little changed at $157.58.

U.S.-listed shares of Credit Suisse fell 0.9 percent to $14.79, while Deutsche Bank rose 1.1 percent to $18.74 after the two European lenders were hit with a combined penalty of more than $12 billion over the sale of U.S. toxic debt.

Cintas fell 3.1 percent to $116.44 after the company’s quarterly profit came in below estimates.

While stocks will trade for the full day, the U.S. bond market will close at 2 p.m. ET.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,543 to 969. On the Nasdaq, 1,221 issues rose and 901 fell.

The S&P 500 index showed three new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 14 new highs and eight new lows. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D‘Silva)

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