NEW YORK, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks ended higher after wavering between small gains and losses Friday, as many traders are expected to be away from their desks for the Christmas holiday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average inched up 14.93 points, or 0.07 percent, to 19,933.81. The S&P 500 added 2.83 points, or 0.13 percent, to 2,263.79. The Nasdaq Composite Index increased 15.27 points, or 0.28 percent, to 5,462.69.
Trading volume was light as investors prepare for their Christmas celebrations this weekend. U.S. stock markets will be closed Monday for the Christmas holiday.
On the economic front, U.S. sales of new single-family houses in November 2016 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 592,000, beating market consensus of 580,000, said the Department of Commerce Friday.
This is 5.2 percent above the revised October rate of 563,000 and is 16.5 percent above the November 2015 estimate of 508,000.
Meanwhile, the final reading of consumer sentiment index published by Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan came in at 98.2 for December, generally in line with market estimates.
Overseas, European markets continued to waver narrowly amid Deutsche Bank news. Shares of the bank climbed about 3 percent after the company agreed to pay 7.2 billion U.S. dollars to settle an investigation led by the U.S. Department of Justice.
In Asia, Chinese equities declined, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index going down 0.94 percent to 3,110.15 points.
For the week, the Dow rose 0.5 percent, notching gains for a seventh straight week, and the S&P 500 increased 0.3 percent, while the Nasdaq moved up 0.5 percent.