Stocks in the U.S closed lower for a third session, as markets remain worried the Federal Reserve may start withdrawing stimulus by curtailing bond purchases later this year.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 8.60 points, or 0.06 percent, to close at 15303.10. The S&P500 shed 0.91 points, or 0.06 percent, to close at 1649.60 and the Nasdaq edged down 0.28 points, or 0.01 percent, to finish at 3459.14. The S&P had its biggest three-day drop in over a month.
Markets have become more cautious since Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke suggested the Fed could start slowing liquidity injections later in the year if the economic data improves enough to warrant it. But Foreman said the Fed won't change its position until the economic recovery firmly takes hold.
In economic news, U.S. durable goods order for April rose 3.3 percent after falling 5.9 percent in March.
In commodity markets, Global oil prices were narrowly mixed in cautious trade on Friday ahead of a three-day holiday weekend on both sides of the Atlantic.
New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light sweet crude for July, closed off opening losses of more than a dollar, ending the day down 10 cents at $US94.15 a barrel.
In London, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in July settled at $US102.64 a barrel, a gain of 20 cents from Thursday.
Metals prices ended slightly lower on Friday. Gold for June delivery fell $US5.20 to $US1,386.60 an ounce. Other metals prices also fell. July silver fell 1.2 cents to $US22.496 an ounce and spot gold lost 0.4 percent to $US 1386.60 an ounce.
The US dollar against the Euro and commodity currencies in US trade on Friday. The Euro eased from highs near US$1.2990 to US$1.2910 before ending U.S trade near US$1.2930 and the Aussie dollar finished at US96.45c on Friday.
Making news this week, there is no major local economics news scheduled for today. Wednesday we can expect the CBA/HIA house affordability for the first quarter, Westpac leading index for March and the construction work done for the first quarter. Thursday it's ABS building approvals for April, private capital expenditure for the first quarter and Friday ABS private sector credit for April.
The US financial markets are today closed for Memorial Day holiday. The week kicks off on Tuesday with S&P Case-Schiller Home Prices for March followed by Q1 GDPO and pending home sales on Thursday. Friday rounds off the week with Personal Income for April, Chicago PMI and Consumer Confidence.