Dow under pressure early Friday to end the week as Home Depot, Goldman stocks slump
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U.S. stock indexes traded mixed early Friday but may post a gain for the week after a slump in technology stocks since early September.

© JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images

U.S. stock indexes saw modest losses gather steam early Friday, with the indexes trying to avoid a three-session weekly losing streak amid a slump in technology stocks.

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The day's trading action marks quadruple witching, which refers to the simultaneous expiration of single-stock options, single-stock futures, and stock-index options and stock-index futures, which has traditionally been associated with some intraday volatility.

How are equity benchmarks performing?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) was trading 90 points, or 0.3%, lower at 27,805, the S&P 500 index (SPX) was off 6 points, or 0.2%, at around 3,351, but swinging between slight gains and losses in early trade. The Nasdaq Composite Index (COMP) was trading at the break-even line at 10,908.

On Thursday, the Dow closed 130.40 points, or 0.4%, lower at 27,901.98, snapping a four-session win streak. The S&P 500 index fell 28.48 points to end at 3,357.01, a decline of 0.8%, following a momentary dip below its 50-day moving average at around 3,339. The Nasdaq Composite retreated 140.19 points, or 1.3%, to 10,910.28.

For the week, the Dow is on pace for a weekly gain of 0.5%, while the S&P 500 is aiming for a rise of 0.2% and the Nasdaq Composite was looking at a 0.4% weekly gain.

What's driving the market?

Market participants are seeing somewhat listless trade early Friday as the U.S. equity benchmarks attempt to retain modest weekly gains headed into the weekend.

Wrangling by investors over the long-term impact of the Federal Reserve's policy update on Wednesday, in which the central bank indicated that the economic recovery could be a long one, and that it wouldn't be inclined to lift interest rates for at least another three or four years, is still rippling through the market.

However, investors continue to look for progress on fiscal stimulus talks from Washington lawmakers that is considered by many crucial to markets…
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