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U.S. stocks close lower amid gloomy job data

2019-03-09 06:41

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NEW YORK, March 8 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks ended lower on Friday, as investors digested U.S. job report in February that largely fell short of market expectations.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 22.99 points, or 0.09 percent, to 25,450.24. The S&P 500 decreased 5.86 points, or 0.21 percent, to 2,743.07. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 13.32 points, or 0.18 percent, to 7,408.14.

Six of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors traded on a negative note, with the energy sector down nearly 2 percent, leading the losers among the groups.

Shares of Exxon Mobil fell over 1.4 percent while shares of Costco rose nearly 5.1 percent, after the U.S. retailer reported fourth-quarter profit that exceeded market expectations.

On the economic front, total nonfarm payroll employment slightly rose 20,000 jobs in February, and the unemployment rate declined to 3.8 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday.

The growth in non-farm payroll jobs in February stood in stark contrast with the January number of 311,000, according to the report, which also said that the U.S. economy added an average of 223,000 new jobs per month in 2018.
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