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US close: Stocks end week on down note after softer than expected jobs report

By Alexander Bueso

Date: Sunday 09 Dec 2018

US close: Stocks end week on down note after softer than expected jobs report

(Sharecast News) - US stocks added to their losses at the end of the week on the back of a weaker-than-expected reading on US jobs for the month of November and ongoing concerns regarding the outlook for US-China trade talks.
By the end of trading, the Dow Jones was down 2.24% or 558.72 points at 24,388.95, while the S&P 500 had fallen 2.33% or 62.87 points to 2,633.08 and the Nasdaq Composite was 219.01 points or 3.05% weaker at 6,969.25.

From a sector standpoint, the worst performing segments of the stockmarket were: Clothing & Accessories (-5.83%), Airlines (-5.13%) and Hotels (-4.91%).

On Thursday, equity markets in the US staged a late rebound, with the Dow and S&P closing well off their lows and the Nasdaq Composite ending in the green but on Friday, Wall Street failed to pull-off the same trick even as European indices staged a slight bounce.

Speculation that the Federal Reserve could tighten monetary policy at a slower rate than expected just a few weeks ago failed to offset renewed trade war jitters sparked by the arrest of Huawei's chief financial officer during the previous weekend.

Oanda analyst Craig Erlam said: "Already market expectations of a rate hike this month have moderated a little - now standing at 78% according to Reuters - and I think people are more and more coming around to the idea that the Fed will be much less hawkish in its assessment than it has been."

By the end of the trading session, the CME's Fed watch tool was putting the odds of a December rate hike by the Fed at only 72.3%.

On the data front, US non-farm payrolls rose less than expected last month, while the unemployment rate held steady, according to data released by the Labor Department on Friday.

Total non-farm payroll employment was up 155,000 in November, missing expectations for a 200,000 jump, while the unemployment rate came in unchanged as expected at 3.7%, its lowest level since 1969 and remaining at that rate for the third month in a row.

The payrolls figure for October was revised down from a previous gain of 250,000 to 237,000, while the figure for September was revised up from a 118,000 increase to a 119,000 jump.

Meanwhile, average hourly earnings were up 3.1% from a year ago, in line with expectations and unchanged from the previous month. The average working week nudged down by 0.1 hours to 34.4 hours.

On the month, average hourly earnings were up 0.2%, missing expectations for 0.3% growth but up from a 0.1% increase in October.

Paul Ashworth, chief US economist at Capital Economics, said the "slightly more modest" gain in payroll employment in November may not go down well in markets given the heightened nervousness in recent months, but this is still a solid gain that suggests economic growth is gradually slowing back towards its potential pace.

In other news, the University of Michigan consumer-sentiment index was unchanged for December at 97.5, holding on to the majority of gains upbeat consumers had ushered in over the last two years.

The last time the sentiment index was consistently above 90 was between 1997 and 2000, UofM said.

Lastly, wholesale inventories jumped 0.8% in October, as companies increased production ahead of the all-important holiday trading season. However, sales fell 0.2%.

Elsewhere, the ICE US dollar gauge was down 0.31% at 96.5140, while the 10-year US treasury yield dropped by five basis points to 2.85%, leaving the spread versus two-year Treasuries unchanged at 14 basis points.

On the oil front, West Texas Intermediate was up 2.18% at $52.61 and Brent Crude was 2.68% higher at $61.67.

In corporate news, discount retailer Big Lots slumped 23.08% in early trade after it posted a wider-than-expected loss for the third quarter and downgraded its outlook.

Vail Resorts shares were also sharply lower, losing 17.85% after reporting a wider-than-forecast first-quarter net loss.

Dow Jones - Risers

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) $145.43 -0.41%
Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) $57.68 -0.71%
Walt Disney Co. (DIS) $111.99 -0.79%
American Express Co. (AXP) $106.68 -0.89%
Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) $92.45 -0.92%
Coca-Cola Co. (KO) $49.09 -0.99%
Visa Inc. (V) $137.11 -1.10%
McDonald's Corp. (MCD) $182.96 -1.12%
United Technologies Corp. (UTX) $119.45 -1.17%
Home Depot Inc. (HD) $172.79 -1.43%

Dow Jones - Fallers

Boeing Co. (BA) $323.22 -5.63%
Dowdupont Inc. (DWDP) $53.75 -4.85%
Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) $123.55 -4.46%
Intel Corp. (INTC) $46.24 -4.40%
Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) $46.44 -4.03%
Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) $104.82 -4.00%
JP Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM) $103.31 -3.67%
Apple Inc. (AAPL) $168.49 -3.57%
Unitedhealth Group Inc. (UNH) $269.18 -3.36%
Nike Inc. (NKE) $73.34 -3.23%

S&P 500 - Risers

Kimco Realty Corp. (KIM) $16.93 4.44%
Ventas Inc. (VTR) $65.47 3.66%
Northrop Grumman Corp. (NOC) $257.54 3.08%
Realty Income Corp. (O) $65.93 2.95%
HCP Inc. (HCP) $29.87 2.72%
PulteGroup Inc. (PHM) $26.23 2.34%
Welltower Inc (WELL) $73.73 2.22%
Macerich Co (MAC) $50.64 2.16%
Apartment Investment & Management Co. (AIV) $47.07 2.15%
Lennar Corp. Class A (LEN) $42.00 2.12%

S&P 500 - Fallers

Signet Jewelers Ltd (SIG) $38.55 -22.95%
Transocean Ltd. (RIG) $8.30 -10.94%
FMC Technologies Inc. (FTI) $21.00 -10.68%
Mallinckrodt Plc Ordinary Shares (MNK) $20.76 -10.29%
American Airlines Group (AAL) $33.57 -9.12%
Harley-Davidson Inc. (HOG) $38.25 -8.62%
DaVita Inc (DVA) $58.96 -7.98%
Tapestry Inc. (TPR) $35.34 -7.54%
Pitney Bowes Inc. (PBI) $7.08 -7.20%
Cimarex Energy Co (XEC) $75.22 -7.04%

Nasdaq 100 - Risers

Broadcom Inc. (AVGO) $228.56 0.58%
Dish Network Corp. (DISH) $31.93 -0.22%
DENTSPLY Sirona Inc. (XRAY) $36.31 -0.44%
Twenty-First Century Fox Inc Class A (FOXA) $49.26 -0.48%
Twenty-First Century Fox Inc Class B (FOX) $48.99 -0.49%
Baidu Inc. (BIDU) $179.56 -0.63%
NetEase Inc. Ads (NTES) $236.61 -0.78%
Incyte Corp. (INCY) $64.51 -0.91%
Mondelez International Inc. (MDLZ) $43.80 -1.02%
Mercadolibre Inc. (MELI) $346.56 -1.14%

Nasdaq 100 - Fallers

Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance Inc. (ULTA) $254.47 -13.13%
American Airlines Group (AAL) $33.57 -9.12%
Nvidia Corp. (NVDA) $147.61 -6.75%
Wynn Resorts Ltd. (WYNN) $104.99 -6.60%
Netflix Inc. (NFLX) $265.14 -6.27%
Micron Technology Inc. (MU) $35.31 -6.26%
Autodesk Inc. (ADSK) $132.57 -5.40%
Lam Research Corp. (LRCX) $138.03 -5.28%
Intuitive Surgical Inc. (ISRG) $491.69 -5.28%
Texas Instruments Inc (TXN) $92.38 -5.08%

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