United States stocks down after hitting record highs

Andrew Cummings
January 13, 2020

US stocks fell from their record heights on Friday after a report showed hiring was a touch weaker than expected last month.

Those numbers precede the U.S. Labor Department's release of its monthly jobs report on Friday.

Global stocks wavered between gains and losses Friday ahead of the U.S.jobs report, which will provide fresh insights on the strength of the world's largest economy.

The NASDAQ hiked 79.41 points to 9,208.65, to yet another all-time high. The pace helped keep the jobless rate at a near half-century low of 3.5% while average hourly earnings was up 0.1% last month. "But the market isn't going to focus on this", said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial in Newark, New Jersey. Markets see low rates as fuel for markets, and the Fed's three rate cuts previous year were a big reason for the surge in stocks.

NYSEARCA:DJD traded up $0.03 during trading hours on Thursday, reaching $39.29. "But nothing could be further from the truth; we can't stress enough that three straight months of substantial overshoots against the surveys means that the surveys are wrong; labour demand remains strong enough to continue pushing down the unemployment rate". The S&P 500 lost 0.3% to end the day at 3,265.35. Treasury yields fall when their prices rise. The financials and industrials sectors dropped at least 0.7% each to drag down the S&P 500.

In Europe markets closed lower, as Britain's FTSE-100 slipped 0.14% while France's CAC-40 and Germany's DAX each fell 0.09%.

Six Flags Entertainment plunged 17.8 percent after the theme park operator warned investors that it may have to have to nix development plans in China after its partner in the country defaulted on payments.

Government bond yields dropped on the report.

Apple Inc rose 0.9% after Credit Suisse became the latest brokerage to raise its price target on the stock, citing better-than-feared iPhone 11 cycle so far.

In commodities trading, benchmark USA oil fell 52 cents to settle at $59.04 per barrel. Brent crude, the worldwide standard, fell 7 cents to end at $65.37 a barrel.

Nvidia Corp rose 1.5% after Citigroup added the stock to its "catalyst watch" list. Heating oil fell 1 cent to $1.95 a gallon.

Gold rose $5.80 to $1,557.50 an ounce, silver rose 17 cents to $18.03 per ounce, and copper rose 1 cent to $2.82 per pound. Natural gas rose 3 cents to $2.17 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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