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Dow falls amid lackluster jobs data after briefly topping 29,000 for the first time

Stocks fell on Friday, reversing from all-time highs, as investors digested weaker-than-expected jobs data to end a volatile week full of geopolitical concerns.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 133.13 points lower, or 0.5% at 28,823.77. Earlier in the session, the 30-stock average broke above 29,000 for the first time ever. The S&P 500 lost 0.3% to end the day at 3,265.35. The Nasdaq Composite also dipped 0.3% to 9,178.86.

Boeing shares dropped 1.9% on Friday to lead the Dow lower. The financials and industrials sectors dropped at least 0.7% each to drag down the S&P 500. 

The major averages still posted solid weekly gains despite Friday’s muted performance. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq were up 0.9% and 1.8%, respectively, for the week. The Dow was up 0.7% week to date.

The U.S. economy added 145,000 jobs in December. Economists polled by Dow Jones expect the U.S. economy to have added 160,000 jobs in December.

Wages also disappointed, growing by just 2.9% on a year-over-year basis. Economists had forecast a gain of 3.1%. December was also the first month since July 2018 that wages grew by less than 3% from the year before.

“The December jobs report was a little softer than expected but not so much so as to stoke big worries about the US consumer and the health of the overall economy,” said Alec Young, director of global markets research at FTSE Russell. “Although both readings were slightly below expectations and the recent trend, neither is overly alarming by itself.”

Friday’s calm session was in stark contrast of the week’s overall trading action as investors grappled with tensions between Iran and the U.S.

The Dow recovered from a 200-point drop on Monday but then fell more than 100 points on Tuesday as investors grappled with the uncertainty surrounding the U.S. and Iran. On Wednesday, President Donald Trump said Iran appeared to be “standing down” after an attack on Iraqi air bases housing U.S. troops. That comment sparked a relief rally that carried into Thursday’s session.

Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., January 10, 2020.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

Stocks also got a boost Thursday as investors were optimistic about next week’s signing of a “Phase One” trade deal between the U.S. and China. The two countries have been at odds over commerce for about two years, when Trump first applied tariffs on Chinese solar panels and washing machines.

Frank Cappelleri, executive director at Instinet, said this week’s moves voided a “potential bearish pattern” in the S&P 500, noting his upside target of 3,530 remains in play. However, he added “the concern is that the market turns even more parabolic from there.”

—CNBC’s Silvia Amaro, Sam Meredith and Jesse Pound contributed to this report.

Source : CNBC | NewsColony: Business News

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