Stocks mostly fall, curbing first weekly advance in 4

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Oct. 29, 2014.
Lucas Jackson | Reuters
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Oct. 29, 2014.

U.S. stocks mainly fell on Friday, with the S&P 500 halting a four-session winning run, as investors considered economic data, energy costs and a reduced 2014 earnings estimate from United Parcel Service.

Enterprise-cloud supplier Box jumped in its first day as a publicly traded company; McDonald's declined after the fast-food chain reported a 7.3 percent decline in quarterly sales; Honeywell International gained after the industrial conglomerate tallied quarterly profit that exceeded expectations, and UPS dropped after the shipper warned fourth-quarter profits would come in below expectations.

"My guess is after four strong days we're going to be in lockstep with energy prices," Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities, said.

Erasing gains, West Texas Intermediate closed at its lowest since March 2009.

Friday's economic reports had had existing-homes sales rising 2.4 percent to an annual rate of 5.04 million in December.

Symbol
Name
Price
 
Change
%Change
DJIA
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S&P 500
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NASDAQ
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Near session lows, the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 141.38 points, or 0.8 percent, to 17,672.60, with Exxon Mobil leading blue-chip losses that extended to 24 of 30 components.

The S&P 500 shed 11.33 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,051.82, with materials and telecom hardest hit and utilities and technology faring best of its 10 major sectors.

The Nasdaq gained 7.48 points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,757.88.

For every three stocks rising, nearly four fell on the New York Stock Exchange, where 785 million shares traded. Composite volume cleared 3.6 billion.

Jack Lew at the 2015 WEF in Davos, Switzerland.
Need to fix our broken tax code: Jack Lew   

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude futures for March delivery wavered between gains and losses before closing at $45.59 a barrel, off 72 cents, or 1.6 percent. The February gold contract fell $8.10, or 0.6 percent, to $1,292.60.

The U.S. dollar strengthened against other global currencies, including the euro, with concern that an anti-austerity party would claim victory in Greece elections on Sunday intensifying the currency's drop after the European Central Bank expanded stimulus.

Read MoreAfter ECB, Greek elections the next market hurdle?

But Hogan said the politician "once seen as a proponent of Greece leaving the euro zone, or at least the currency, has softened that rhetoric over the last week or so, bowing to German acknowledgement that we may be able to find a way to restructure your debt as opposed to default on it."

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell 8 basis points to 1.7894 percent.

On Thursday, U.S. stocks climbed, extending gains into a fourth session, after the ECB action and as companies including Southwest Airlines posted upbeat quarterly earnings.

Read More Stocks cheer ECB; S&P 500, Nasdaq positive for year