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U.S. stocks decline ahead of holiday season

Xinhua,December 23, 2017 Adjust font size:

NEW YORK, Dec. 22 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks closed slightly lower on Friday, as trade is lighter than usual going into the Christmas holiday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average decreased 28.23 points, or 0.11 percent, to 24,754.06. The S&P 500 lost 1.23 points, or 0.05 percent, to 2,683.34. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 5.40 points, or 0.08 percent, to 6,959.96.

On the economic front, U.S. personal income in November increased 54.0 billion U.S. dollars, or 0.3 percent, lower than market consensus of 0.4 percent, according to the Commerce Department Friday.

In November, disposable personal income (DPI) increased 50.9 billion dollars, or 0.4 percent, and personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased 87.1 billion dollars, or 0.6 percent.

U.S. new orders for manufactured durable goods in November increased 3.1 billion dollars or 1.3 percent to 241.2 billion dollars, missing market projection of a 2-percent gain, the Commerce Department announced in another report.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday signed a 1.5-trillion-dollar tax cut bill into law, as well as a spending bill to keep the federal government running through January 19, 2018.

The U.S. Congress this week passed the tax bill along party line, with no Democrats voting for it.

At the signing ceremony, Trump called it "a bill for the middle class and a bill for jobs," adding "corporations are literally going wild."

The tax bill, the sweeping rewrite of U.S. tax law since 1986, would cut the corporate income tax rate to 21 percent from the current 35 percent and lower individual income rates.

Some companies said they would spend the savings from lower corporate taxes on higher wages and new construction.

Investors were optimistic about this, as they bet that lower taxes would boost companies' earnings. Enditem