US stocks close sharply lower amid soft data

New York, Dec 8 (IANS) US stocks closed sharply lower on Friday as investors digested a batch of economic data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 558.72 points, or 2.24 per cent, to 24,388.95. The S&P 500 fell 62.87 points, or 2.33 per cent, to 2,633.08, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 219.01 points, or 3.05 per cent, to 6,969.25.

US job growth slowed in November amid fears of a possible economic slowdown. Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 155,000 in November, and the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.7 per cent, the US Labor Department reported on Friday.

Job gains occurred in health care, in manufacturing, and in transportation and warehousing, said the department.

Stocks had seen volatile trading during the week as investors grew concerned about the pace of economic development as well as interest rate hikes.

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The US three-year treasury note yield surpassed its five-year note on Monday. The inverted yield curve caught investors’ attention because historical statistics showed that when short-term yields trade above longer-term rates a recession could follow.

Anxiety around a potential yield curve inversion sent the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note to 2.858 per cent on Friday. The yield was above 3 per cent at the start of the week.

Meanwhile, Shares of large-cap tech companies declined on Friday, putting pressure on the benchmark indices. Netflix and Amazon traded 6.27 per cent and 4.12 per cent lower respectively. Shares of Apple fell 3.57 per cent after Morgan Stanley cut its price target, citing weakening iPhone sales.

–IANS

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