Nasdaq falls from record as Washington deal stays elusive

Nasdaq falls from record as Washington deal stays elusive

New York Stock Exchange opens during COVID-19
Traders walk past the New York Stock Exchange as the building opens for the first time since March while the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in the Manhattan borough of New York, on May 26, 2020. (Photo: REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)

NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks finished mixed on Friday (Aug 7), with the Nasdaq retreating from a record following solid US jobs data as Washington talks on a new spending package remained stalemated.

The US added 1.8 million jobs last month, fewer than in May and June, but better than expected, the Labor Department reported.

While unemployment fell to 10.2 per cent from 11.1 per cent, that is still an extremely high number by historic standards and economists continue to view the US economy as being on shaky ground.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 0.2 per cent at 27,433.48.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.1 per cent to 3,351.28, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 0.9 per cent to 11,010.98, ending a four-day streak of records.

The latest talks between Democratic congressional leaders and Trump administration officials again ended with finger-pointing.

"Another fiscal package is urgently needed, but alarmingly, policymakers may be at an impasse," said a note from Oxford Economics. "Failure to reach an agreement adds downside risk to an economy that is already at a critical juncture."

Investors were also monitoring escalating friction between Washington and Beijing. On Friday, the United States slapped sanctions on Hong Kong's top leader in the wake of a new Chinese security law imposed on the city.

The move came after Trump Thursday night announced sweeping restrictions against Chinese-owned social media giants TikTok and WeChat, drawing a rebuke from Beijing, which slammed the move as "arbitrary political manipulation and suppression."

Among individual companies, Uber Technologies slumped 5.1 per cent as it reported a US$5.2 billion quarterly loss amid the hit to the ride sharing company from COVID-19 shutdowns.

UPS surged 7.9 per cent as it announced new surcharges for the coming holiday season, underscoring the benefit to the company from the increase in e-commerce orders.

Goldman Sachs advanced 1.6 per cent as it disclosed it would restate second-quarter results following a settlement with the Malaysia government over the bank's role in the long-running 1MDB scandal. The move will reduce Goldman's second-quarter profits to US$197 million from US$2.25 billion.

Source: AFP/ec

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