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Finance: STOCKS CLOSE FLAT: Here's what you need to know

A vehicle passes along the border of the Sahara desert

Stocks were flat on Friday.

Stocks closed flat on a relatively quiet day for markets.

All three major indices were little changed at the end of Friday.

First up, the scoreboard:

  • The Dow: 20,926.61, -7.94, (-0.04%)
  • S&P 500: 2,379.95, -2.39, (-0.10%)
  • Nasdaq: 5,902.53, +1.91, (+0.03%)
  • US 10-year yield: 2.499%, -0.025
  • WTI Crude oil: $48.77, +0.02, (+0.04%)

1. Consumer confidence jumped more than expected in March, according to a preliminary report from the University of Michigan. The consumer sentiment index increased to 97.6 from 96.3 in the final February survey, according to Bloomberg. But perhaps more importantly, the details show that opinions are more divided than ever.

2. The Mexican peso is trading around its best level since Trump's election win. The currency jumped earlier this week after President Donald Trump's trade adviser, Peter Navarro, said in an interview with Bloomberg, "We have a tremendous opportunity, with Mexico in particular, to use higher rules of origin to develop a mutually beneficial regional powerhouse where workers and manufacturers on both sides of the border will benefit enormously."

3. The US oil rig count rose for the 9th straight week to 631, up by 14 from the prior week, according to Baker Hughes. Meanwhile, the gas-rig count rose by six to 157. One miscellaneous rig was brought online, and so the total rig count rose by 21 to 789.

4. Someone unloaded $1.3 billion worth of Apple. In the opening minute of Friday's session, one trader dumped 9.24 million shares of Apple stock in a single block trade. At $141 a share, that's worth about $1.3 billion. No one has claimed the trade as of yet.

5. It was another down day for Snap, the parent company of Snapchat. The stock briefly fell below $19.00 per share and is down almost 4% today. The current price is just around $2 above its IPO price of $17.00.

6. Goldman Sachs CEO Llyod Blankfein took a $1 million pay cut last year — to $22 million. Meanwhile, Chief Financial Officer Harvey Schwartz received a total compensation of $20 million in 2016, compared with $21 million a year earlier. Schwartz was named co-COO and president together with David Solomon in late 2016.

ADDITIONALLY:

The Fed might have buried a key policy signal in its March statement.

US shale producers are killing any hopes of a recovery in the offshore oil drilling business.

Warren Buffett's railroad is going to reap the benefits of coal's comeback.

Dividend stocks aren't as great as they used to be.

Wall Street has been "turned upside down."



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About Author Mohamed Abu 'l-Gharaniq

when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries.

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