Jobs blow ends US bull run

The Sunday Times - - BUSINESS WEEKLY -

US stocks closed slightly lower, end­ing a six-day run of record highs as the first monthly de­cline in US non-farm jobs in seven years damp­ened sen­ti­ment and phar­macy shares fell on Ama­zon com­pe­ti­tion fears.

The Nas­daq ended up for a ninth straight day, how­ever, and set its sixth straight record high close, its long­est such streak since set­ting seven records in Fe­bru­ary.

Wal­greens Boots Al­liance and CVS Health fell and were among the big­gest drags on the S&P 500 af­ter a CNBC re­port that Ama­zon was close to a de­ci­sion on sell­ing pre­scrip­tion drugs. Wal­greens shares dropped 4.9 per cent and CVS was down 4.9 per cent, while Ama­zon shares rose 0.9 per cent.

The La­bor Depart­ment’s closely watched jobs re­port showed non-farm pay­rolls fell by 33,000 in Septem­ber as hur­ri­canes Har­vey and Irma left dis­placed work­ers tem­po­rar­ily un­em­ployed and de­layed hir­ing. A bright spot was a bet­ter-than-ex­pected rise in av­er­age wages.

“It’s been amaz­ing how re­silient our US stock mar­ket has been, go­ing up on no news or bad news, so there’s no sur­prise on a day where most peo­ple feel it was a mixed jobs re­port at best that the mar­ket ac­tu­ally is re­act­ing in a way that makes sense,” said Jake Dol­larhide, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Long­bow As­set Man­age­ment.

The Dow Jones In­dus­trial Av­er­age fell 0.01 per cent, to end at 22,773.67, the S&P 500 lost 0.11 per cent to 2549.33, and the Nas­daq Com­pos­ite added 0.07 per cent, to 6590.18.

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