U.S. stocks edge lower after lackluster jobs report

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U.S. stocks finished lower on Friday, following a weaker-than-expected jobs report.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average decreased 8.69 points, or 0.03 percent, to 34,746.25. The S&P 500 fell 8.42 points, or 0.19 percent, to 4,391.34. The Nasdaq Composite Index slid 74.48 points, or 0.51 percent, to 14,579.54.

Nine of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors ended in red, with real estate down 1.12 percent, leading the laggards. Energy and financials rose 3.12 percent and 0.48 percent, respectively, the only two gaining groups.

The weakness on Wall Street came after the nation’s disappointing September payrolls data.

U.S. employers added 194,000 jobs in September, indicating labor market recovery continues to slow down amid a Delta variant-fueled COVID-19 surge, the U.S. Labor Department reported Friday. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had forecast 500,000 new jobs.

“Job gains continue to be sluggish despite the 5 million shortfall against the pre-pandemic peak and a record number of job openings,” Will Compernolle, senior economist at FHN Financial, said Friday in a note.

“The Delta wave likely impacted labor supply and consumer spending to some extent in September,” said Compernolle.

U.S.-listed Chinese companies traded mostly higher on Friday with eight of the top 10 stocks by weight in the S&P U.S. Listed China 50 index ending the day on an upbeat note.