Wall Street dragged down by energy stocks

NYSE traders Image copyright Getty Images

(Close): Wall Street closed down on the half-day's trading before Christmas.

The main Dow Jones index dropped 50.44 points, or 0.3%, to 17,552.17. The wider S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq were almost unchanged.

On the Dow, after strong gains on Wednesday, energy stocks led the way down, with Chevron down 1.5% and Exxon Mobil 0.7% lower.

Sportswear giant Nike implemented its two-for-one share split, cutting the value of its shares in half.

On the currency markets, the dollar was down 0.4% against the euro at 91.33 cents, and also down 0.4%against the pound, at 66.98 pence.