Solid sales for Restaurant Brands and a proposed merger to create a new bank failed to lift the New Zealand sharemarket out of the red today.
The benchmark NZX-50 index lost 0.2%, or 6.5 points, to close at 3054.76.
"With major offshore markets closed last night, no real clear direction," said Hamilton Hindin Greene director Grant Williamson.
"It will be all eyes on the Dow Jones tonight after the long weekend."
Fast food operator Restaurant Brands provided one of the highlights today, jumping 7c, or 3%, to 232, after a positive quarterly sales update this morning.
Having long been out of favour, the stock has been recovering since Restaurant Brands turned the business around, with good results particularly from KFC. Last month, the shares hit 236, their highest level since the 1990s.
"It continues to outperform the market, and has done for some time," Mr Williamson said.
The company reported a 4.2% rise in first quarter sales, with KFC up 8.5%, although sales at the Starbucks Coffee and Pizza Hut brands were down.
Top stock Telecom, on the other hand, was trading near historic lows, closing down 3c at 187.
Among other blue chips, Auckland International Airport was up 2c at 190, Contact Energy gained 6c to 593, Sky City lost 2c to 295, and Fletcher Building was down 4c at 822.
Finance services stock Pyne Gould Corp rose a cent to 45 after news of a planned merger between its banking operations, Southern Cross Building Society and Canterbury Building Society.
If all goes to plan, the merged company, with assets of $2.2 billion, wanted to list and apply to operate as a bank next year.
"The market's taken it very positive in the fact that it will create that critical mass and probably make it easier for the merged group to get a banking licence, so all very positive there," Mr Williamson said.
Other stocks to rise included Steel and Tube, up 8c at 241, Kathmandu, up 5c at 194, and The Warehouse, up 4c at 354.
On the decline were Nuplex, down 6c at 301, Fisher&Paykel Healthcare, down 5c at 319, and Air New Zealand, down 2c at 115.