U.S. stocks opened slightly lower on Friday, the final trading day of the year, as investors took profits after a recent rally that has the S&P on track for its best December performance in nearly two decades.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was down 5.75 points, or 0.05 percent, at 11,563.96. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> dipped 1.12 points, or 0.09 percent, at 1,256.76. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was off 2.23 points, or 0.08 percent, at 2,660.75.

(Reporting by Ryan Vlastelica; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)