US Stocks Drop But Eke Out Weekly Gain After Mixed Jobs Report for September

© REUTERS / Brendan McDermidA Wall St. street sign is seen near the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., September 17, 2019.
A Wall St. street sign is seen near the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., September 17, 2019. - Sputnik International, 1920, 08.10.2021
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NEW YORK (Sputnik) - US stocks fell on Friday after an anemic jobs report for September still signaled a tapering of the Federal Reserve’s pandemic-era stimulus before the end of the year.
But the three main equity indexes on Wall Street still managed to eke out a weekly gain, with the broad-based Dow Jones Industrial Average leading the pack with a rise of more than 1%, reacting to positive economic data earlier in the week.
“US stocks did not know how to react to a complex jobs report,” Ed Moya, analyst at online trading platform OANDA. said. “An adequate jobs report continues to pave the way for the Fed to make a formal taper announcement at the November 3rd FOMC meeting.”
FOMC, or Federal Open Market Committee, is the policymaking arm of the Federal Reserve.
The Dow index finished Friday’s session down 9 points, or 0.03%, at 34,748. For the week, it rose 1.2%.
The S&P 500, which groups the top 500 stocks on the New York Stock Exchange, settled down 8 points, or 0.2%, at 4,391. The blue-chip indicator rose 0.8 on the week.
The Nasdaq Composite, comprising growth stocks such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, closed down 75 points, or 0.5%, at 14,580. The tech barometer gained 0.1% on the week.
The US Labor Department reported on Friday a non-farm payrolls growth of 194,000 for September, versus the 235,000 for August and well below the forecast of 500,000.
President Joe Biden addresses a joint session of Congress, with Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on the dais behind him, in Washington, U.S., April 28, 2021.    - Sputnik International, 1920, 08.10.2021
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The weak jobs growth was a sign to some that the Federal Reserve might take much longer to put into action the much-anticipated taper of its pandemic-era monthly stimulus of $120 billion for the economy.
But the Labor Department also reported that the US unemployment rate fell to 4.8% from the August level of 5.2%.
The drop in the jobless rate is important as it closes in on the Federal Reserve’s target of 4% for “full employment” - which central bank chair Jerome Powell has repeatedly used as a gauge for any monetary tightening to come.
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