Jobs blow ends US bull run
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.