Stocks sink after dismal June jobs report
After a strong week in gains, Friday's jobs report, which put the June unemployment rate at 9.2 percent, pulled stocks down
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Phil Orlando, chief market strategist at Federated Investors, said he believes manufacturers began rehiring workers in late June following signs that Japan's economy was improving. Hiring slumped in May due partly to high fuel prices and disruptions of industrial supplies because of the earthquake and tsunami disasters in Japan.Skip to next paragraph
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Traders rushed to the relative safety of government bonds. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 3.01 percent from 3.19 percent just before the jobs report came out. Bond yields fall when demand for them increases.
Oil prices fell 2.5 percent. The slowdown in hiring suggested that demand for fuel will increase less than traders had expected. Lower fuel prices could eventually help the economy by leaving consumers with more money to spend on things other than gas.
Weak economic data this spring pushed stocks near their lowest levels of the year two weeks ago. Markets recovered last week, giving the Dow its best week in two years, on signals that the economy was rebounding. Stock indexes closed near their 2011 highs on Thursday.
Despite the weak job market, analysts still expect earnings at big U.S. companies to be strong. Companies are benefiting from export growth as the weak dollar makes American goods cheaper, and therefore more competitive, in overseas markets. Aluminum maker Alcoa Inc., one of the 30 companies in the Dow average, will be the first major corporation to report second-quarter financial results on Monday.
Orlando, the market strategist, said investors will be looking to see how companies have responded to higher commodity costs and a shortage of parts from Japan. "It's not going to be an earnings season where you can have a blanket proclamation regarding how companies are doing this time around," he said.
In other company news, Rupert Murdoch's media conglomerate News Corp. fell nearly 4 percent as a phone-hacking scandal at its News of the World tabloid deepened. A former editor of the paper who later served as spokesman for British Prime Minister David Cameron was arrested Friday. News Corp. shuttered the 168-year old paper on Thursday in hopes of saving its deal to take over the lucrative British satellite TV company British Sky Broadcasting. Government approval of that deal will now be delayed because of the crisis, which has shocked Britain.
The Dow rose 0.6 for the week, the Nasdaq 1.6 percent.
Two stocks fell for every one that rose on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was lighter than average at 3.1 billion shares.