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MARKET SNAPSHOT: Stock Market Threatens To End Streak Of Records After Jobs Report

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10/06/2017 | 06:58pm CEST

By Anora M. Gaudiano, MarketWatch , Ryan Vlastelica

U.S. lost 33,000 jobs in September: Labor Department

U.S. stocks retreated from records on Friday after data showed the U.S. economy posted its first monthly decline in jobs in about seven years in September, due to hurricanes in the Gulf Coast and Florida. Wage growth, however, showed a surprising jump.

What stock benchmarks are doing

The S&P 500 was off by 8 points, or 0.3%, to 2,544, with nine of the 11 main indexes trading lower. The benchmark index was on track to snap its eight-day winning streak that has taken it to multiple levels.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 30 points, or 0.1%, to 22,745, and could end a seven-day rally. The Nasdaq Composite Index switched between small gains and losses and set an intraday record at 6,587.36. The tech-heavy index was last trading 5 points, or 0.1%, lower to 6,579.

All three benchmarks were on track for solid weekly gains, however. The Dow industrials were looking at a gain of 1.6% while the S&P 500 was up 1%. Both were on track for their fourth straight weekly advance. The Nasdaq was set for a rise of more than 1.3%.

Opinion:The next bear market gets closer every time stocks hit a record

What is driving markets?

Nonfarm payrolls shrank by 33,000 in September , undercut by hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Economists polled by MarketWatch had predicted a 75,000 increase in nonfarm jobs. The unemployment rate, however, fell to 4.2% from 4.4%.

And wages increased by 0.5% to an average of $26.55 an hour, the Labor Department said Friday. Hourly pay saw a 2.9% year over year rise, up from 2.7% in August. Those gains, too, were likely affected by the hurricanes.

Immediately after the report, bond yields and the dollar spiked, but by noon, trimmed those gains. The 10-year Treasury note touched is highest yield since around July at 2.39%, but then slipped back to 2.36%. The dollar strengthened to above 94, before pulling back.

What market strategists are saying

-- "Traders were pricing in a weak print given the severe disruption caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and even though it came in far worse than expected the markets will go into the weekend feeling there is no reason to panic," said Marcus Bullus, trading director of MB Capital.

"The unemployment rate nudged down and wage growth went up in September, underlining how the headline figure is an anomaly," Bullus said.

-- "Markets had been ludicrously overbought, with the S&P 500 rising for eight straight days by Thursday. Markets could have dropped even if we did not have a negative reading on the jobs report," said Michael Antonelli, equity sales trader at Robert W. Baird & Co.

"The reaction on the market suggests that nothing has changed when it comes to rate hikes in December," Antonelli said.

What other data and Fed speakers are ahead?

-- New York Fed President William Dudley, speaking on CNBC said he was open to raising rates in December. He is slated to speak on monetary policy at the Council for Economic Education at 12:15 p.m. Eastern.

-- Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan, speaking on CNBC said he was "open minded" about an interest-rate increase in December, but he was "not there yet."

-- St. Louis Fed President James Bullard is set to deliver a speech on the standard of living at a development conference in St. Louis at 1:50 p.m. Eastern.

Which stocks are in focus?

Data-center operator Switch Inc. priced its initial public offering higher than expected Thursday evening. The Las Vegas-based data-center company said it would sell 31.25 million shares at $17 apiece, after previously stating a target range of $14 to $16. Shares rose 31% in their trading debut.

Costco Wholesale Corp.(>> Costco Wholesale Corporation) fell 6.1% even as the wholesale retailer reported lower gross margins, even as quarterly profits topped Wall Street estimates .

Yum China Holdings Inc.(>> Yum China Holdings Inc) rose 1.3% as the Yum Brands Inc. (>> Yum! Brands, Inc.) spinoff announced earnings that included its first dividend and an increased stock-buyback plan . The operator of KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants also announced plans for a new chief executive officer. Yum shares rose 2%.

What other assets are doing

European stocks traded mostly lower , with Spain's IBEX benchmark giving back some of Thursday's rebound as investors assessed the latest developments in the Catalonia-Spain standoff.

Australian stocks led gains in the Asia-Pacific region on Friday, boosted by Thursday's climb in commodity prices and rises for financial stocks.

WTI oil futures are under pressure as tropical storm Nate strengthens, and is due to hit the Gulf Coast over the weekend . Under pressure, the British pound was set for its worst week in a year on talk of an early U.K. election . Gold futures rebounded to trade higher.

Barbara Kollmeyer and Mark DeCambre contributed to this article.

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