Dow jumps more than 100 points as stocks attempt rally after lackluster jobs report, but weekly losses ahead

The Dow and the S&P 500 gained some altitude Friday morning–but benchmarks were on track for weekly losses–after a cooler-than-expected employment report. U.S. nonfarm payrolls increased a seasonally adjusted 155,000 last month, the Labor Department reported. The unemployment rate held steady at 3.7%, hanging near the lowest rate since 1969. Year-over-year wage growth matched the prior month’s 3.1% pace as the best rate since 2009. The data are closely watched amid the Federal Reserve’s plan to normalize interest rates, with its coming rate-setting meeting scheduled for Dec. 18-19. Although some softness in the data following last month’s figures aren’t likely to prevent the Fed from lifting benchmark interest rates, currently at a range between 2% and 2.25%, a quarter-of-a-basis-point later this month, there are signs that policy makers may take a more conservative tack in 2019. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -2.24% was trading 0.4% higher at 25,055, those for the S&P 500 index SPX, -2.33% edged 0.4% higher at 2,705, while the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -3.05% rose 0.1% at 7,196. For the week, the Dow is set for a loss of 1.9%, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq are on track to produce a weekly loss of about 2%. In corporate news, shares of Big Lots Inc. BIG, -23.08% were sharply lower after the discount retailer reported disappointing third-quarter results and lowered its full-year guidance. Investors also have been closely watching a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia, which reached an agreement in Vienna to cut crude-oil output, delivering a jolt to crude-oil prices CLF9, +1.24% and the energy sector.

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