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U.S. stocks fall on disappointing job-creation data, GM resignation

U.S. stocks fall on disappointing job-creation data, GM resignation

Stocks fell Friday, halting three straight days of record-setting gains after the Labor Department said employers added far fewer jobs last month than expected and a General Motors Corp. board member who lobbied unsuccessfully for an alliance with other automakers resigned.
The jobs report gave investors further confirmation that the economy is slowing, and Friday's Wall Street decline indicated they're concerned that the economy might be moderating too much. Investors hoping for a slightly weak report were disappointed; such data could have furthered the notion that the economy has slowed adequately to allow the Federal Reserve to consider a cut in interest rates.
The 51,000 jobs added in September _ the fewest since last year's Gulf Coast hurricanes _ were well below the 120,000 Wall Street expected. The good news in Friday's report was that the unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent and that the number of jobs added in August was revised higher to 188,000 from an earlier report of 128,000.
"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."
In midday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 55.47, or 0.47 percent, at 11,811.22 after closing Thursday at 11,866.69, its third straight record high close.
Broader stock indicators also fell Friday. The Standard & Poor's 500 index was down 7.51, or 0.55 percent, at 1,345.71, and the Nasdaq composite index fell 12.99, or 0.56 percent, at 2,293.35.
Bonds fell, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rising to 4.69 percent from 4.61 percent late Thursday. The dollar was mixed against other major currencies, while gold prices fell.
Light sweet crude was quoted down 77 cents to $59.26 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Investors are still paying close attention to oil prices, as their decline has helped drive the market's upward rise in recent months. Crude prices are down sharply from their trading high for the year of $78.40 a barrel, which came in July.
GM was down $1.57, or 4.74 percent, to $31.56 following reports that Jerome York resigned from the automaker's board in frustration over the company's failure to form an alliance with Japan's Nissan Motor Co. and France's Renault SA. York has been an ally with investor Kirk Kerkorian, whose Tracinda Corp. has a 9.9 percent stake in GM. Kerkorian has been agitating for change at the troubled company.
In other corporate news, Micron Technology fell $1.87, or 10.66 percent, to $15.66 after issuing a profit report that disappointed investors. Lackluster sales of flash memory chips raised questions about the company's efforts to diversify.
Business software maker WebMethods Inc. fell 48 cents, or 6.42 percent, to $7 after it said it wouldn't meet its second-quarter sales forecasts. The company said its sales force faced difficulty closing deals despite ample orders.
Crown Castle International Corp., which builds signal towers for mobile phones, declined $1.10, or 3.17 percent, to $33.65 after agreeing to acquire rival Global Signal Inc. for $4 billion in cash and stock. Including debt, the deal is valued at $5.8 billion. Global Signal jumped $4.74, or 9.46 percent, to $54.84.


Updated : 2021-06-15 02:54 GMT+08:00