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US stocks end lower despite solid jobs report

Wall Street stocks Friday (August 1) finished lower despite a solid US jobs report and generally good corporate earnings as investors took a cautious stance after Thursday's rout.

NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks Friday (August 1) finished lower despite a solid US jobs report and generally good corporate earnings as investors took a cautious stance after Thursday's rout.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 69.93 points (0.42 per cent) at 16,493.37. The broad-based S&P 500 fell 5.52 (0.29 per cent) to 1,925.15, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index shed 17.13 (0.39 per cent) at 4,352.64. All three indices rallied from their intra-session lows, with the Dow having fallen to 16,437.07 at midday.

US stocks fell about two per cent Thursday in a battering that eliminated the Dow's 2014 gains.

"How many people want to jump in the day after we have a 300-point-plus loss in the Dow?" said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at S&P Capital IQ. He said some investors fear a long-awaited correction may be afoot.

European stock markets finished sharply lower for a second day running, with the German DAX sinking 2.10 per cent, London's benchmark FTSE 100 index falling 0.76 per cent and France's CAC 40 tumbling 1.02 per cent.

The Labor Department reported that the US economy added 209,000 jobs in July, down from June but maintaining the solid 200,000-plus monthly streak since February.

Procter & Gamble scored the day's biggest gains in the Dow, rising 3.0 per cent after reporting a 38 per cent rise in quarterly earnings to US$2.6 billion and announcing a plan to shed 90-100 underperforming brands. Chevron dipped 1.0 per cent, despite reporting second-quarter earnings of US$2.98 per share, 32 cents better than analyst expectations. The petroleum giant said oil and gas production fell 1.2 per cent.

Financial stocks were hit with selloffs: Citigroup (-1.7 per cent), JPMorgan Chase (-2.1 per cent) and Morgan Stanley (-2.3 per cent).

Scientific Games, a big player in lottery systems and other gaming businesses, signed a deal to acquire Bally Technologies, which makes slot machines and other gaming equipment, in a transaction valued at $5.1 billion the companies announced. Scientific Games said the deal will enhance its product offerings and provide better exposure to Australia and Asia and some other markets. Scientific Games gained 2.7 per cent, while Bally surged 29.1 per cent higher.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury dropped to 2.50 per cent from 2.56 per cent Thursday, while the 30-year dipped to 3.30 per cent from 3.31 per cent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.

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