Stocks mixed after U.S. unemployment rate drops
A big drop in the unemployment rate wasn't enough for investors on Friday. Stocks posted gains early in the day but faded to a mixed close.
The Labor Department said the unemployment rate had declined to 7.8 percent, its first dip below 8 percent in nearly four years. The decline from 8.1 percent the month before was bigger than economists had expected.
Stocks rose on that news, but the gains didn't last. The Dow Jones industrial average edged up 34.79 points to close at 13,610.15, after rising 86 points earlier in the day. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 0.47 points to 1,460.93, and the Nasdaq dropped 13.27 points to 3,136.19.
Employers added 114,000 jobs last month. That was in line with what economists were expecting, but the government revised its estimates higher for job growth in July and August.
The drop to 7.8 percent in the unemployment rate “really is not a big game-changer,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital. “Yes, more people were hired, but job creation did come in in line with expectations.”
“The jobs report today was just a validation that things are improving and that people are feeling good,” said Marty Leclerc, chief investment officer of Barrack Yard Advisors. “So as investors, of course, that's when we're most apprehensive.”
Consumer discretionary stocks rose, led by Home Depot and Lowe's, both up more than 2 percent. Industrial stocks also rose. Technology and energy stocks had broad declines.
Despite the mixed day, the Dow managed to reach a milestone: its highest close since December 2007. The S&P is close, but not quite back to, its December 2007 high. The Dow and S&P had their first positive weeks after two weeks of losses. The Dow rose 1.3 percent for the week, the S&P 1.4 percent.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers defensive end Tuitt shifts into high gear
- Rossi: Pirates foolish to bet on Burnett return
- Rain postpones Pirates-Cubs game
- Steelers notebook: No decision on surgery for rookie CB Golson
- Steelers’ Mitchell taking cautious approach about dealing with injuries
- Storms knock out power to thousands of customers in Western Pa.
- Authorities identify 2 men killed in fiery crash in Pittsburgh
- Pirates notebook: Trade movement confidence booster for Morse
- Thirsty pit bull turned on Arnold neighbors
- Inside the Steelers: Wide array of receiving options shine
- Pitt’s Boyd, Blair suspended for Youngstown State game