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US: Stocks mostly down as market weighs good jobs data


[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks finished mostly lower Friday after a strong US jobs report sparked talk that the Federal Reserve would move more quickly to raise interest rates.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 56.12 points (0.31 per cent) to 17,849.46.

The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 3.01 (0.14 per cent) to 2,092.83, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 9.33 (0.18 per cent) to 5,068.46.

The US economy pumped out 280,000 jobs in May, far more than expected in a solid sign of growth after a winter stall. The report also showed better wage growth, in an indication of tightening for the labor market.

Market voices on:

"Now that there is good news and a chance the Fed takes the punch bowl, the question is: Are stocks vulnerable? The answer is maybe," said Mace Blicksilver, director at Marblehead Asset Management.

Large banks advanced, including Bank of America (+2.4 per cent) and Dow member JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup (both +1.6 per cent). Analysts expect banks to benefit from higher interest rates.

Clothing retailer Gap fell 1.0 per cent as comparable stores sales in May declined one percent, with a six per cent gain in its Old Navy chain offset by drops in Banana Republic and Gap stores.

Liquor giant Diageo bolted 8.0 per cent following a report in Brazil that Brazilian billionaire Jorge Paulo Lemann is considering a takeover bid. The stock rallied sharply after Bloomberg cited the report.

Lemann-controlled beer giant AB InBev spiked on the report, finishing up 2.2 per cent.

Dish Network and T-Mobile US rose again on reports the two companies are in talks to combine. Dish gained 1.7 per cent, while T-Mobile added 2.3.

But other telecom companies fell, including Sprint (-0.9 per cent) and Dow members AT&T (-2.0 per cent) and Verizon (-1.8 per cent).

Petroleum-related stocks advanced on higher oil prices. Apache rose 1.9 per cent, Halliburton rose 2.3 per cent and EOG Resources gained 2.6 per cent.

Computer Sciences Corp. finished unchanged after US securities regulators announced they had approved a US$190 million penalty on the company for accounting fraud.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury bond rose to 2.41 per cent from 2.30 per cent Thursday, while the 30-year advanced to 3.11 per cent from 3.04 per cent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.



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