U.S. stocks struggle as jobs growth slows

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NEW YORK, New York – U.S. stocks were scatty on Friday after data revealed jobs growth in the United States last month was the weakest for nine months.

Nonetheless, the unemployment rate fell to 4.8 percent, the lowest for the pandemic so far.

“Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the American economy added 194,000 jobs in the month of September, and the unemployment rate was 4.8 percent, down from 5.2 percent in August,” U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh said Friday.

“At the Department of Labor we are committed to an inclusive recovery, and we saw good news this month as the rates of Black and Hispanic unemployment, while still too high, both dropped, Walsh added.”

At the close on Friday, the Dow Jones industrials were down 8.82 points or 0.03 percent at 34,746.25.

The Nasdaq Composite gave up 74.48 points or 0.51 percent to 14,579.54.

The Standard and Poor’s 500mdlipped 8.42 points or 0.19 percent to 4,391.34.

The U.S. dollar was mixed. The euro was little changed at 1.1572. The British pound inched up to 1.3618. The Japanese yen weakened to 112.24. The Swiss franc firmed to 0.9270.

The Canadian dollar was stronger at 1.2472. The Australian dollar was little moved at 0.7308. The New Zealand dollar was listless at 0.6931.

In Europe, equity markets were easier. The Dax in Germany fell 0.29 percent. The Paris-based CAC 40 lost 0.61 percent.

In London, the FTSE 100 gained 0.25 percent.

On Asian Markets, in Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 rose 370.73 points or 1.34 percent to 28,048.94.

The Australian All Ordinaries advanced 66.10 points or 0.88 percent to 7,617.30.

China’s Shanghai Composite was up 24.00 points or 0.67 percent at 3,592.17.

The Hang Seng in Hong Kong closed 136.12 points or 0.55 percent higher at 24,837.85.