Stocks end lower as job concerns weigh
Stocks closed lower Friday as concerns about unemployment continued to weigh on the market, although all three major gauges ended the week with gains.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 21 points, or 0.2 percent. The S&P 500 index slid 4 points, or 0.4 percent, and the Nasdaq composite lost 4 points, or 0.4 percent.
Stocks opened lower after a government report showed the tepid pace of hiring in the private sector failed to offset the loss of thousands of public sector jobs in July. The selling gained momentum as stocks fell through key technical levels, with the Dow shedding 160 points in the morning. But the market recovered late in the day to close near session highs.
All three indexes ended the week higher. The Dow and the S&P both rose 1.8 percent over the last five days, while the Nasdaq gained 1.5 percent.
The dour jobs data added to concerns about the economic recovery, which is turning out to be less robust than many analysts had anticipated. In particular, investors are worried that consumer spending, the main engine
powering the U.S. economy, will suffer as unemployment remains high.
Treasurys set to post weekly gain after jobs report
Treasurys surged and are on track to post weekly gains Friday as investors changed their focus from company earnings to economic data, including the government's worse-than-expected monthly jobs report.
The two-year note's yield dropped below 0.5 percent for the first time ever Friday, but then pared back some of those losses to trade at 0.51 percent later in the day. At the closing bell its price was up 2/32 to 100-8/32. Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions.
The benchmark 10-year note jumped 23/32 to 105-25/32, and its yield fell to 2.82 percent from 2.91 percent late Thursday. The 30-year bond rose 1-1/32 to 106-19/32 and its yield slipped to 4 percent. The 5-year note edged up 10/32 to 101-6/32 with a 1.51 percent yield.
A closely watched monthly employment report from the government showed the U.S. economy shed 131,000 jobs in July. It was an improvement from the revised loss of 221,000 jobs in June, but a much deeper hit than economists had expected for the month.
CNNMoney.com reporters Annalyn Censky and Ben Rooney contributed to this report.