NEW YORK, New York – U.S. stocks were directionless on Friday with major turmoil in Japan where former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated.
This despite positive economic data which revealed nonfarm payrolls increased by 372,000 jobs last month, well ahead of analysts’ forecasts of 250,000.
“The overall picture is pretty strong job growth, and I’d say quite good earnings growth. That just makes the case for 75 basis points this month almost air tight,” Michael Schumacher, head of macro strategy at Wells Fargo told CNBC Friday.
The Dow Jones industrials fell 46.40 points or 0.15 percent to 31,338.15.
The Nasdaq Composite rose 46.40 points or 0.15 percent to 31,338.25.
The Standard and Poor’s 500 slipped 3.24 points or 0.08 percent to 3,899.38.
The U.S. dollar drifted lower despite the positive jobs report. The euro moved higher to 1.0180 by the New York close Friday. The British pound firmed to 1.2030. The Swiss franc was slightly stronger at 0.9766.
The Canadian dollar strengthened to 1.2953. The Australian dollar was well bid at 0.6852. The New Zealand dollar rose to 0.6185.
In Japan, the yen, going against the trend, fell to 136.08.
Overseas, the German Dax surged 1.34 percent. The CAC 40 climbed 0.44 percent. In London, the FTSE 100 edged up 0.10 percent.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 which had been up hundreds of points, wilted to finish just 26.55 points or 0.10 percent ahead at 26,517.19.
China’s Shanghai Composite fell 8.32 points or 0.25 percent to 3,356.08.
The Australian All Ordinaries climbed 40.10 points or 0.59 percent to 6,877.00.
In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 rose 57.08 points or 0.51 percent to 11,169.24.
South Korea’s Kospi Composite gained 16.34 points or 0.70 percent to 2,350.61.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng gained 82.20 points or 0.38 percent to 21,725.78.