Wall Street Recap: Markets weary over Friday’s government job report

Wall Street Recap: Jan 7th


Reports from Major retailers such as Wal-Mart and Macy’s lifted the Dow for much of the trading session on Thursday as statistics indicated that holiday shoppers spent a bit more money than the previous year.  Blue chips stocks such as Boeing (NYSE:BA) and General Electric (NYSE:GE) helped that index rally followed by gains in the banking sector led by Bank of America (NYSE:BAC)and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC). As a result the KBW Bank index jumped more than 4%.

The broader market closed on the down as investors awaited the Federal Governments reports on unemployment on Friday. Analysts are expecting modest job losses. The government reported a slight rise in weekly claims for unemployment benefits Thursday, though the increase was less than expected. The Labor Department said initial claims rose by 1,000 last week for a total of 434,000. Investors and analyst are expecting the report to signal that employers cut 35,000 from their payrolls after cutting 11,000 in the previous month. The unemployment rate, generated by a separate survey, is expected to hold steady at 10%.

The Dow closed up 32 points to finish at 10,606.90 on strong reports for holiday sales by the major retailers. The S&P 500 index added just about 5 points, or 0.4% to finish at 1,141.68. While the Nasdaq composite ended at 2,300.

In Japan the Nikkei ended at 10,681.66. In Europe, London’s FTSE 100 rose 0.1%, France’s CAC 40 was little changed and the German DAX lost 0.4%. Gold slid $2.80 to settle at $1,133.70 an ounce as oil follow its path as well dropping 52 cents to settle at $82.66 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange Total traded volume on the NYSE came to 1.2 billion shares, compared with 1.1 billion Wednesday.

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