U.S. stocks close week broadly lower, amid vague August jobs report
Investing.com -- U.S. stocks fell sharply on Friday as an inconclusive August jobs report provided investors with two more weeks of uncertainty before the Federal Reserve decides whether it will raise short-term interest rates later this month.
A strong jobs figure in Friday's report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics may have convinced the Federal Open Market Committee that conditions were ripe for its first interest rate hike since 2006. But U.S. non-farm payrolls for August only ticked up by 173,000, far below consensus estimates of a 223,000 gain. Still, a September rate hike likely remains on the table after the U.S. employment rate fell to 5.1%, its lowest level since April, 2008.
The possibility of an imminent rate hike pushed stocks lower, as the major indices erased most of the gains from its previous two sessions. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 272.38 or 1.66% to 16,102.38, ending the week lower while the NASDAQ Composite index lost 49.58 or 1.05%, closing lower for the fourth time in five sessions. All three major indices remained in negative territory for the year.
The S&P 500 Composite index, meanwhile, dipped 29.91 or 1.53% to 1,921.22, as all 10 sectors closed in the red. Stocks in the Basic Materials, Financials and Energy industries lagged, each closing by at least 1.75% on the session.
The top performer on the Dow was Boeing Company (NYSE:BA), which lost 0.74 or 0.56% to close at 130.28. All 30 components on the Dow closed in the red. Shares in Boeing (NYSE:BA) are relatively flat for the year. The worst performer on the Dow was EI du Pont de Nemours and Company (NYSE:DD), which fell 1.56 or 3.09% to 49.00.
The biggest gainer on the NASDAQ was Dollar Tree Inc (NASDAQ:DLTR), which added 1.35 or 2.01% to 68.35. Dollar Tree (NASDAQ:DLTR) finished just ahead of Mylan (NASDAQ:MYL), which rose 0.85 or 1.79% to 48.27, as the Generics giant continued its hostile takeover bid of Dublin-based pharmaceutical company Perrigo. The worst performer was TripAdvisor Inc (NASDAQ:TRIP), which fell 2.15 or 3.09% to 67.32.
The top performer on the S&P 500 was Noble Energy Inc (NYSE:NBL), which gained 0.69 or 2.28% to 31.12. The worst performer was CONSOL Energy Inc (NYSE:CNX), which fell 0.78 or 5.45% to 13.46. Shares in Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc (NYSE:DO) and Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold Inc (NYSE:FCX) each fell more than 3%, amid sharp declines in U.S. manufacturing and mining positions last month.
On the New York Stock Exchange, declining issues outnumbered advancing ones by a 2,364 to 757 margin.
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