August 5th, 2010
11:44 PM ET

Stocks drop modestly ahead of jobs report

A look at highlights from the day's business news:

Stocks end lower as jobs report looms

Stocks ended a listless session modestly lower Thursday as investors focused on the job market amid signs of a sluggish economic recovery.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 5 points, or less than 0.1 percent. The S&P 500 index slid 1.5 points, or 0.1 percent, and the Nasdaq composite lost 10 points, or 0.5 percent.

The retreat came as investors braced for the Labor Department's monthly jobs report Friday. The report, one of the most closely watched on Wall Street, is expected to show that the U.S. economy lost jobs in July for the second month in a row.

Treasurys advance ahead of jobs report

Treasurys rallied Thursday after a report showed that jobless claims spiked to the highest level in three months and as investors awaited the government's monthly jobs report due Friday.

The benchmark 10-year note jumped 14/32 to 105-2/32, and its yield fell to 2.91 percent from 2.95 percent late Wednesday. Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions.

The 30-year bond rose 19/32 to 105-20/32 and its yield slipped to 4.05 percent. The two-year note edged up 2/32 to 100-6/32, with a 0.55 percent yield, while the 5-year
note rose 7/32 to 100-28/32, with a 1.57 percent yield.

Demand for the safety of U.S. debt returned Thursday after the government reported a surprise spike in jobless claims. The Labor Department said 479,000 American filed for unemployment insurance last week, the highest since the week ended April 10. Economists were looking for the figure to fall.

– reporters Ben Rooney and Hibah Yousuf contributed to this report.

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