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Stocks Close Lower; Why A Logistics Firm Is Getting Attention From Amazon, Home Depot | Stock News & Stock Market Analysis

Stock pared losses and had only minor dips at the close Friday, as Home Depot (HD) and Amazon.com (AMZN) found themselves in the middle of a potential buyout.

X The Dow Jones industrial average, Nasdaq and S&P 500 fell 0.1% in what was a typically quiet session ahead of a three-day weekend.

The Russell 2000 fell 0.2%. The indexes posted moderate gains of 0.3% to 0.4% for the week, but the small-cap Russell climbed more than 1% to outperform the other indexes.

All but the Russell made it five weeks up in a row as the market seemed intent on ending the year at or near new highs.

Volume fell sharply, based on early figures. That was expected because Wall Street slows down on the day before a long weekend. Markets will be closed Monday for Christmas.

The logistics industry group was Friday’s best, up more than 3%. XPO Logistics (XPO) surged 14% after Recode.net reported that Home Depot has held talks to acquire the company. A deal would be aimed at keeping Amazon.com from buying the logistics company and its appliance-delivery services, the online publication said. Home Depot believes Amazon has been eyeing XPO.

Home Depot, a Dow component, rose modestly and remained near a new high. Amazon.com was down slightly. XPO shares are extended from a breakout past 62.94 in September. Other stocks in the group rose in sympathy.

Trucking stocks also were among the best in today’s market, which is why the Dow transports outperformed with a 0.4% increase.

Biotechs also were leading as several stocks showed bullish action.  AveXis (AVXS) edged past the 108.37 buy point of a cup without handle pattern. Deciphera Pharma (DCPH) surged about 8% and rose above the 21.92 buy point of a double-bottom base. But neither stock had impressive volume.

The weakest industry groups were in auto, consumer, machinery and retail although no particular sector drew more selling than others.

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