U.S. stocks faded a bit from their record highs on Friday after telecom and energy stocks sank. The loss for the Standard & Poor’s 500 index was small, but it was the first in nearly two weeks.
Much of the day’s action was centered on the government’s jobs report, which is usually the most anticipated economic data of each month, but it was a muddled one.
Economists cautioned not to read too much into the hiring numbers, which were far weaker than expected, because they were distorted by hurricanes that damaged businesses from Texas to Florida. Investors focused instead on a stronger-than-expected rise in workers’ wages, which helped to push Treasury yields higher.
The S&P 500 fell 2.74 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,549.33. The loss meant the end of the longest winning streak for the index in four years. Roughly nine stocks fell for every five that rose on the New York Stock Exchange.
The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 1.72, or less than 0.1 percent, to 22,773.67. The Nasdaq composite added 4.82, or 0.1 percent, to 6,590.18. All three indexes had closed at records on Thursday.
The government’s jobs report showed that employers cut more jobs last month than they added, largely due to disruption from recent hurricanes. — AP