NEW YORK, New York - U.S. stocks struggled on Friday going into the long weekend, torn between worsening numbers around the world relating to coronavirus, and increasing hostility by the U.S. towards China, extending now to a number of fronts.
While the Dow Jones finished lower, the Nasdaq Composite and Standard and Poor's 500 made modest gains.
"We still think COVID-19 concerns are in the driver's seat, but we could see U.S.-China relations move back into the front seat," Eric Freedman, chief investment officer at U.S. Bank Wealth Management told Reuters Thomson Friday.
At the close of trading Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 8.96 points or 0.04% at 24,465.16.
The Standard and Poor's 500 rose 6.94 points 0.24%, to 2,955.45.
The Nasdaq Composite added 39.71 points or 0.43% to 9,324.59.
U.S. markets will be closed on Monday for the Memorial Day holiday.
The U.S. dollar remained in demand on Friday. The British pound was particularly weak in the face of Boris Johnson's government's handling of the coronavirus. The pound finished seriously wounded at the end of the week, last being quoted at 1.2173 around the New York close Friday.
The euro was weak at 1.0902, but off its daily low of 1.0885. The Japanese yen was largely unchanged at 107.63. The Swiss franc was weaker at 0.9713.
The Canadian dollar remained listless at 1.3999. The Australian dollar drifted down to 0.6536. The New Zealand dollar was weaker at 0.6097.
Overseas, London's FTSE 100 declined 0.37%. The German Dax slipped 0.07%, while in Paris, the CAC 40 lost 0.02%.
On Asian markets, the biggest mover was Hong Kong's benchmark index, the Hang Seng, which tumbled 1,349 .89 points or 5.56% to 22,930.14 Friday.
In China, the Shanghai Composite closed down 54.16 points or 1.89% at 2,813.77.
Japan's Nikkei 225 dropped 164.15 points or 0.80% to 20,388.16.
The Australian All Ordinaries was off 52.20 points or 0.92% to 5,608.70.