A Down Day, But Not As Bad As It Could Have Been
Wall Street finished in the red Friday, but nowhere near as down as the main indices had been earlier in the session. The Dow industrials finished 40.76 points lower at 24,231.59 after trailing more than 350 points earlier in the day. The S&P 500 ended 5.36 points lower at 2,642.22 and the Nasdaq Composite shed 26.39 points to close at 6,847.59.
Major percentage decliners included R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co. (RRD) , which lost 11.3% to $8.33, Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings (CCO) , which dropped 7.5% to $4.35 and Amplify Snack Brands (BETR) , off 4.8% at $5.52.
Dow Narrows Losses as GOP Says It Has Senate Votes for Tax Cuts
The Dow industrials have narrowed their losses and are down some 90 points shortly before 2 p.m. ET.
The DJIA had been down more than 300 points on word that key Trump/Russia figure Michael Flynn had agreed to plea guilty to wrongdoing and cooperate with prosecutors -- raising speculation that he might implicate President Trump in illegal activities.
However, stocks partly recovered as Republicans indicated that they say have enough votes to pass a tax-reform bill in the Senate.
Markets Rebounding as Key Republican Backs Tax Bill
The Dow Jones industrial average has recouped a majority of its losses on word that U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) will back Senate Republicans' tax-reform bill. Flake, a deficit hawk who's long crossed swords with President Trump, had been seen as a possible "no" vote on the bill, which will likely fail if even three Republican senators refuse to back it.
The Dow, which had been down more than 300 points on news of Trump/Russia scandal figure Michael Flynn's plea deal with prosecutors, trimmed the red ink to around 118 points shortly after noon ET.
GM Misses November Sales ExpectationsGeneral Motors ( GM) November sales shrunk 2.9%, missing expectations for a 1% drop by Kelley Blue Book and an increase of 1.8% at Edmunds.
But, Chevrolet crossover sales were higher 16%, driven by the best November retail and sales ever from the Traverse. The Bolt EV also experienced its best sales month yet.
Last month, GM sales shrank 2.3% over last year, which bested analyst expectations that sales would be lower by 7.2%.
Shares of GM were falling during Friday morning trading.
Ford Tops November Sales ProjectionsNovember sales at Ford ( F) were up 6.7% year-over-year, while the automaker's SUVs recorded their best November sales period in 17 years.
Analysts at Kelley Blue Book were calling for an increase of 1.8% in October, while analysts at Edmunds projected a 4.9% leap higher.
Last month, Ford reported an October sales increase of 6.1%, which topped analysts' expectations of a 5.1% gain for the month.
Shares of Ford were climbing nearly 1% higher during Friday morning trading.
November Sales Shrink at Fiat Chrysler Lower than ExpectedFiat Chrysler Automobiles ( FCAU) sales shrank 3.7% year-over-year in November but topped projections for a 5.5% decline by Kelley Blue Book.
Retail sales were up 2% to 129,539 units, while fleet sales fell 25%. Regarding the automaker's segments, Fiat car sales were lower 28% year-over-year, while sales at Chrysler jumped 14%. Year-over-year sales at Jeep were lower 2%, down 15% at Dodge, and lower 5% at Ram.
In October, Fiat Chrysler sales shrank 13% year-over-year, posting a wider-than-expected loss over analyst expectations of a 10% decrease.
PremarketU.S. stock futures were sinking across the board, reverting from their strong performances on Thursday.
Dow Jones futures were lower 0.05%, S&P futures were down 0.15% and Nasdaq futures were falling 0.51% on Friday.
In Asia, the Nikkei was climbing 0.41%, and the Shanghai Composite was higher 0.01%, but the Hang Seng was sinking 0.35%.
In Europe, the FTSE 100 was higher 0.19%, while the CAC 40 in France and the DAX in Germany were both in the red.