Wall Street ended a record-breaking week quietly Friday, edging lower after the Labor Department said employers added far fewer jobs than expected last month. The major indexes all scored big gains for the week.
NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street ended a record-breaking week quietly Friday, edging lower after the Labor Department said employers added far fewer jobs than expected last month. The major indexes all scored big gains for the week.
While the jobs report gave investors further confirmation that the economy is slowing – employers created just 51,000 new jobs last month, well off the 120,000 Wall Street expected – the market is now concerned that the economy might be moderating too much.
Even the prospects of a rate cut by the Federal Reserve came as little comfort Friday.
“We’ve had a market that wants to see bad news as good news with respect to the Fed,” said Bryan Piskorowski, a market analyst at Wachovia Securities LLC.
“(Now the) economy is slowing, the housing market is slowing, consumer spending is starting to slow. You run that tightwire where bad news eventually becomes bad news.”
The hopes for a Fed rate cut as wall as a further decline in oil prices helped drive the 30-stock Dow Jones industrial average to three straight record high closes this week. The blue chips also set new intraday highs. Broader indexes also showed robust gains, though remained well below their all-time highs.
According to preliminary figures, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 16.48, or 0.14 percent, at 11,850.21 Friday, below the record close of 11,866.69 set the day before.
Broader stock indicators also fell Friday. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was down 3.64, or 0.26 percent, at 1,349.58, and the Nasdaq composite index fell 6.35, or 0.28 percent, to 2,299.99.