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US stocks open flat amid investor caution

NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks were flat in early trading Frid..

NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks were flat in early trading Friday, threatening a five-day winning streak in a sign investors remain somewhat cautious after the volatility in equities this month.

About 15 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.1 per cent at 25,215.81.

The broad-based S&P 500 was down less than 0.1 per cent at 2,730.36 while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index lost a hair to 7,254.87. analyst Patrick O'Hare said some investors may be motivated to take profits after this week's gains ahead of the President's Day weekend, which will close US markets Monday.

O'Hare also pointed to "the nagging sense that this recovery rally has been a little too easy, and hasn't been tested yet" as a factor in the caution.

US home building surged in the first month of 2018, with a sharp rise in construction of apartments and as rebuilding continued in the storm-damaged South, according to government data.

Among companies reporting earnings, Coca-Cola rose 0.5 per cent after projecting 2018 operating earnings that were above analyst expectations. The soda giant reported a loss of $2.8 billion in the fourth quarter due to a large charge connected to US tax reform.

Kraft Heinz tumbled 5.8 per cent after reporting a drop in organic net sales of 0.6 per cent, prompting chief executive Bernardo Hees to acknowledge that the company's 2017 performance "did not reflect our progress or potential."

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