US stocks fall again after weak December job growth

5.US stocks fall again after weak December job growth
A "Now Hiring" sign is placed on the glass store front of a store in Montebello, California, amid a nationwide labor shortage. Hiring surged in December, especially in the service industry, with private US firms adding 807,000 workers, payroll services firm ADP reported on January 5, 2022. (Photo: AFP)
NEW YORK, United States — Wall Street stocks finished a losing week on a feeble note Friday, falling for the third straight session following disappointing job growth in December. اضافة اعلان

The much-anticipated December jobs report said the US economy added only 199,000 positions last month, less than half of analysts estimates and a worrisome data point given the latest COVID-19 wave in the US. 

But the lackluster number of new jobs created was offset somewhat by a bigger-than-expected drop in the unemployment rate to 3.9 percent. Wage growth was strong, also indicative of a tight labor market.

All three major indices fell, with the S&P 500 ending at 4,677.03, down 0.4 percent for the day and 1.9 percent for the week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended essentially flat at 36,231.66, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 1.0 percent to 14,935.90.

Stocks were already in the red for the week prior to the report following Federal Reserve minutes released Wednesday that suggested the central bank favored a more aggressive approach to monetary tightening than previously thought.

The 10-year US Treasury note, a proxy for concerns about interest rates, rose further on Friday, up to almost 1.8 percent. 

"The central bank is clearly shifting its focus to inflation and today's report provides more ammunition to those who want not just to accelerate the tapering, but also start raising rates and reducing the Fed's balance sheet," said economist Joel Naroff.

"Yes, interest costs will rise, but the current rates are so low that the increases should not have a major impact on overall economic growth."

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