US stocks closed little changed but the S&P 500 recorded its strongest weekly performance since the beginning of the year, following the record highs reached from Monday through Wednesday.
Here’s the scoreboard:
- Dow: 20,607.23, -12.54, (-0.06%)
- S&P 500: 2,348.98, +1.76, (0.07%)
- Nasdaq: 5,833.07, +18.17, (0.31%)
Unilever rejected a takeover bid from fellow consumer-goods giant Kraft Heinz. The offer from Kraft Heinz valued Unilever at about $US143 billion, and it would have been one of the biggest mergers in history.
- SoftBank, the Japanese telecom company that owns Sprint, is looking to make a second run at T-Mobile US, Reuters reported. For regulatory reasons, the two companies will be able to begin negotiations in April, the report said.
- US household debt rose by 1.8%, or $US226 billion, to $US12.58 trillion in the fourth quarter, according to the New York Fed. Outstanding student loans — the largest source of debt besides mortgages — increased by $US31 billion to a record $US1.31 trillion.
- The US oil rig count increased by six this week to 597, according to Baker Hughes. West Texas Intermediate crude oil — the US benchmark — was on pace to close lower for the first week in five after the rig-count release.
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