Stocks drop after US hiring slows

Stocks drop after US hiring slows


AP Business Writer NEW YORK (AP) - Stocks fell on Friday after the government reported that U.S. employers added fewer jobs than forecast for August.

Bond prices rose on the news. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which moves in the opposite direction of price, dropped to 2.42 percent from 2.45 percent late Thursday.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell seven points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,990 as of 10:49 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 57 points, or 0.3 percent, to 17,012. The Nasdaq composite slipped 18 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,542.

JOBS SLOW: U.S. employers added 142,000 jobs in August, snapping a six-month streak of hiring above 200,000 and posting the smallest gain in eight months, the Labor Department said Friday. The unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent from 6.2 percent, falling because more people without jobs stopped looking for one and were no longer counted as unemployed. Economists had expected employers to add 220,000 jobs.

THE QUOTE: Some investors pointed out that Friday's news was at odds with reports earlier this week that showed the economy is still strengthening. Construction and the service industry, or example, were strong.

"The preponderance of evidence is that things continue to expand," said John Fox, director of research, Fenimore Asset Management. "This is a blip."

SAD SEPTEMBER: Stocks have fallen during first four trading days of the month after ending August at a record high. September is historically the worst month, according to the stock traders' almanac.

GAP SALES: Gap slumped $2.13, or 4.6 percent, to $44.51 after reporting that a key sales measurement slumped in August. The retailer said sales at stores open at least one year fell 2 percent over the four weeks that ended Aug. 30. Revenue from Gap stores open over that time fell 6 percent. The will pressure the brand's profit margins in September.

STAKE SALE: Another retailer also got hit. Michael Kors fell $3.45, or 4.3 percent, to $76.52 in late morning trading Friday after one of its principal founding stockholders said it was selling its remaining shares in the luxury retailer. Sportswear Holdings had a 5.7 percent stake in the company.

EUROPE: Major stock indexes in Europe were mixed. Britain's FTSE 100 index was down 0.5 percent while France's CAC 40 fell 0.1 percent. Germany's DAX was 0.3 percent higher.

CURRENCIES: The euro rebounded from a slump on Thursday, when the European Central Bank surprised markets by cutting interest rates and announcing a new stimulus program. Europe's single currency rose 0.3 percent to $1.2974 Friday. The dollar was at 105.22 yen after rising as high as 105.71 yen, the highest level since October 2008.

ENERGY: The price of oil edged lower again after slumping Thursday, when a report showed that U.S. crude supplies fell less than expected. Benchmark crude oil was down 44 cents to $94.01 a barrel in New York after falling $1.09 on Thursday.

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