Wall Street flat in quiet start to 2015

NEW YORK: – Wall Street stocks finished the first trading day of the new year  little-changed Friday following lackluster US economic data and with many market participants still on holiday.

At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 17,830.87, up 7.80 points (0.04 percent).

The broad-based S&P 500 slipped 0.80 (0.04 percent) to 2,058.10, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index fell 9.24 (0.20 percent) to 4,726.81.

All three indices spent much of 2015’s first session in the red following reports that showed lower US construction spending in November and weaker manufacturing activity in December.

But stocks strengthened somewhat in the last 30 minutes, enabling the Dow to notch a small gain and cutting losses in the other two indices. Analysts said volume was light after markets closed Thursday for New Year’s Day.

“The year really starts on Monday,” said Dan Greenhaus, chief global strategist at BTIG.