World stocks edge lower; Wall Street at record

Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:30pm EST
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By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks on major world markets slipped on Friday in the wake of back-to-back sessions of record highs, as investors awaited clarity on U.S. President Donald Trump's tax and trade policies.

Despite the decline, the MSCI All-Country World index .MIWD00000PUS was higher for a fourth straight week, its longest winning streak in a nearly a year, after rising to a record high on Thursday on positive signs of global economic growth.

Wall Street managed a slight gain to push each of the major indexes to a fresh record. A jump in consumer staples .SPLRCS, up 0.7 percent, offset declines in financial stocks .SPSY, down 0.03 percent, and the energy sector .SPNY, off 0.5 percent.

Banks had provided a boost earlier in the week when U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen gave testimony that appeared to open the door for a rate hike in March.

"Financials particularly are going higher than people think, so I would not be a seller of these types of stocks just because they rallied," said Andrew Slimmon, portfolio manager at Morgan Stanley Investment Management in Chicago.

Markets have also been supported by expectations of concrete fiscal plans from the Trump administration, which vowed last week to announce a tax reform plan in the coming weeks. The S&P 500 has not registered a decline of 1 percent or more since October 11.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 4.28 points, or 0.02 percent, to 20,624.05, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 3.94 points, or 0.17 percent, to 2,351.16 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 23.68 points, or 0.41 percent, to 5,838.58.

For the week, the Dow rose 1.7 percent, the S&P 500 climbed 1.5 percent and the Nasdaq advanced 1.8 percent.   Continued...

A trader walks past the German DAX Index board on the trading floor at the Frankfurt stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, February 15, 2017. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski