U.S. stocks failed to defend gains Friday, with the S&P 500 ending lower for a ninth straight session in the longest losing streak since December 1980.
The S&P 500
shed 3.48 points, or 0.2%, to close at 2,085.18, falling 1.9% for the week. The streak has been long, but shallow, with the index shedding just a little more than 3% over the nine-day run.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average
slid 42.39 points, or 0.2%, to finish at 17,888.28 for a weekly drop of 1.5%. The Nasdaq Composite Index
fell 12.04 points, or 0.2%, to end at 5,046.37, also marking a nine-day drop while closing out the week 2.8% lower.
Bill Stone, chief investment strategist at PNC Asset Management Group, blamed election-related uncertainty and potential headline risk for the retreat. Oil futures have also been under heavy pressure, with the U.S. benchmark posting a nearly 10% weekly drop.
Economic data released ahead of Fridays open were mixed, but underlined steady growth and were seen as not impacting the Federal Reserves view for continued normalization of interest rates.
The U.S. economy added 161,000 jobs in October, while the unemployment rate fell below 5%.
The payrolls number was below expectations, but was still seen robust enough for the Federal Reserve to consider raising interest rates in December. Market participants see a 71.5% chance of the Federal Reserve tightening policy next month, according to the CME Groups FedWatch tool.
The jobs report confirms the existing trend and the trend is positive, said Maris Ogg, president at Tower Bridge Advisors. The weakness we have seen over the past couple of weeks is partly due to elections that continue to rattle investors nerves but also due to a correction in the face of high valuations and mediocre earnings.
With this mornings #jobs report,only domestic issue that derails Dec #Fed hike would be disorderly market reaction to next weeks elections
— Mohamed A. El-Erian (@elerianm) November 4, 2016
Meanwhile, the trade deficit narrowed in September to a 19-month low, aided by a fourth straight increase in exports that gave the economy a boost in the third quarter.
Global equity weakness has been tied in part to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trumps gains against Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the polls over the past week. He is viewed as more likely to inject uncertainty into domestic and global affairs, and investors generally dont like uncertainty.
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Election Day is Tuesday, and Clintons lead in a RealClearPolitics average of polls stood at 1.7 points early Friday. Thats up from 1.3 points on Thursday, but still down sharply from her mid-October advantage of about 7 points.
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Other markets: European stocks
added to a weekly loss, while Asian markets closed lower. In London, the FTSE 100
slid as a stronger pound
hit multinationals after a legal blow to Brexit plans.
pared earlier losses but still settled 1.3% lower, as crude producers made little progress on a proposed output cut deal.
and the ICE U.S. Dollar Index
were little changed. The yield 10-year Treasury note
fell to 1.77%.
Economic news: The U.S. added 161,000 new jobs in October and the unemployment rate fell below 5% again, reflecting a tight labor market thats forced firms scrambling to fill open positions to increase pay at the fastest pace since 2009.
The U.S. trade gap shrank to $36.4 billion from a revised $40.5 billion in August, the government said Friday.
Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart, who is scheduled to step down in February, said interest rates would stabilize at a lower level than in past expansions after very gradual hikes over the next two years.
Check out: MarketWatchs Economic Calendar
Individual movers: Coffee giant Starbucks Corp.s stock
rose 2% after the companys robust earnings report late Thursday.
On the downside, camera maker GoPro Inc.
sank 6.5% following weaker-than-expected quarterly results, and Monster Beverage Corp.
slid 3.6% after its disappointing release.
Victor Reklaitis contributed to this report.