US markets close with little change

NYSE traders Image copyright Reuters

US markets were flat on Friday, after an earlier streak of gains that saw two of three major indexes reach new highs.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq index, which has fallen on just three days in May, again posted the strongest gains amid light trading ahead of a holiday weekend.

The Nasdaq rose 4.93 points to a record 6,210.19.

The wider S&P 500 climbed less than one point, or 0.03% to 2,415.82, while the Dow Jones fell 0.01%, dipping 2.67 points to 21,080.28.

All three indexes have recovered since May 17, when stocks dove as political tension in Washington spooked Wall Street.

A strong season for corporate earnings has propelled May to close on a high note.

About three quarters of companies listed on the S&P 500 index exceeded earnings expectations, according to the research firm FactSet. Energy, metals and IT stocks have led the earnings gains.

Even some consumer stocks, which have lagged this season, have shown recent strength.

On Friday, companies such as cosmetics retailer Ulta and the Costco wholesale club placed among the top gainers after beating analyst expectations when they released earnings earlier in the week.

Earlier, figures from the Commerce Department showed that the US economy grew faster than initially estimated in the first quarter of the year.

US gross domestic product grew at an annual pace of 1.2% in the quarter, up from the first estimate of 0.7%.