Stocks End Mixed on Job Losses

Stocks ended Thursday’s trading session mixed on worse than expected U.S. jobs data and a European Central Bank rate hike.

In a shortened pre-holiday session, the Dow was up 73 to 11,288, the S&P tacked on 1 to 1262, while the Nasdaq slipped 6 to 2245. Trading was rocky, with breadth nearly 2-to-1 negative, on heavy volume. The NYSE traded 3.3 billion shares and the Nasdaq 1.4 billion despite a 1 p.m. Eastern closing time, three hours earlier than normal.

Stocks futures jumped in pre-market trading after the U.S. Labor Department reported that employers shed 62,000 jobs last month, only slightly worse than expected, and weekly jobless claims spiked too. The ECB raised interest rates by a quarter point, but gave no hint that more rate hikes were coming. And the U.S. services sector unexpectedly contracted last month.

Despite all that bad news, blue chip stocks managed to trade higher, as investors were relieved that the data wasn’t as bad as feared.

Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA) was a notable laggard, however, plunging 30% after warning that its quarterly sales will come in well below Wall Street estimates. The warning pushed the chip sector 1% lower.

Juniper Networks (NASDAQ: JNPR) was the biggest gainer on the Nasdaq most actives list, rising 4%.

Avid Tech (NASDAQ: AVID) and Fibernet Telecom (NASDAQ: FTGX) posted double-digit percentage gains, while Acme Packet (NASDAQ: APKT) plunged 40% on a warning.

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