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Stocks falter on disappointing jobs data

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped for a seventh straight day, its longest losing streak since the height of the financial crisis in October 2008. A disappointing jobs report added to investors' concerns that the recovery is losing steam.

The Dow ended down 46 points Friday after the government said private employers added only 83,000 jobs last month, fewer than the 112,000 analysts had forecast. The Dow and other indexes posted losses for a second straight week.

Light trading ahead of the long Independence Day weekend brought choppy moves, particularly in the final hour. The Dow was essentially flat in the last five minutes before sliding just before the close.

Investors are focused on business hiring because that makes up the bulk of the country's workforce. The enduring jobs problems are raising concerns that the economy will begin sliding again. Many economists say that's unlikely but still a worry.

The Dow fell 46.05 points, or 0.5 percent, to 9,686.48. The Dow hasn't fallen for seven straight days since an eight-day loss that ended Oct. 10, 2008.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 4.79, or 0.5 percent, to 1,022.58, while the Nasdaq composite index fell 9.57, or 0.5 percent, to 2,091.79. - AP


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