U.S. stocks on Friday fluctuated between gains and losses in the last trading day of May, with the S&P 500 breaking new ground again, as the country's economic data turned out mixed.
Following a four-day record run in a row, the S&P 500 continued to refresh all-time highs in a narrowly fluctuating morning session, as investors calmly embraced a batch of mixed economic data.
U.S. personal consumption expenditure, which accounts for about 70 percent of the U.S. economic activity, decreased 0.1 percent in April, while personal income increased 0.3 percent, said the U.S. Commerce Department Friday. Analysts had expected consumer spending to gain 0.2 percent last month while personal income to increase 0.4 percent.
Adding pessimism into the market, U.S. consumer sentiment fell in May, with the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's final reading of the index registered 81.9, slightly higher than the preliminary reading of 81.8, but lower than market consensus of 82. 5.
The Chicago Business Barometer in May, however, came out better than expected, providing some upward jolts to the stock market. The index rose to 65.5 in the month from 63.0 in the prior month, the highest since October, the Institute for Supply Management said Friday.
On the previous trading day, the S&P 500 refreshed both record intraday and closing highs, as investors brushed off the downwardly-revised U.S. gross domestic product for the first quarter of this year.
The benchmark index settled above the psychologically important level of 1,900 points last Friday and has since repeatedly refreshed record highs.
On a monthly basis, the three major indices are on track to end in green territories, set to break the old market adage of "sell in May and go away."
In midday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 20.01 points, or 0.12 percent, to 16,678.73. The broader S&P 500 edged up 0.96 point, or 0.05 percent, to 1,920.99. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 1.74 points, or 0.04 percent, to 4,246.21.