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Wall St. lower as US jobless rate falls to 4.9%

Feb 05 2016 19:15

New York - Wall Street stocks opened lower on Friday as fresh data on the US jobs market added some support for another interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve.

While hiring slowed in January, the Labor Department said, the US jobless rate fell to 4.9% and wage growth picked up modestly - both data points that support the Fed further tightening policy in the coming months.

The numbers "could keep the Fed inclined to raise the fed funds rate again in 2016 - and perhaps sooner rather than much later," said Patrick O'Hare of Briefing.com.

That sent stocks falling modestly, led by large tech and oil shares.

About 45 minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 60.78 points (0.37%) at 16 355.80.

The broader S&P 500 lost 12.33 (0.64%) at 1 903.12 while the Nasdaq Composite fell 61.25 (1.36%) to 4 448.31.

Tyson Foods, the huge chicken and pork processor, soared 12.8% as fourth-quarter profits handily beat forecasts, at $1.15 per share compared with 89 cents predicted. But revenues at $9.2bn were down 15.4% from a year ago.

LinkedIn, the employment networking website, plunged 38.8% after giving a dim forecast for this year.

The company beat forecasts for the fourth quarter of last year, but forecast 2016 first-quarter revenues and earnings well below what analysts have expected, blaming in part pressure from slowing global growth.

Shares of Twitter lost 3.9% as investors position themselves for the company's quarterly earnings report next Wednesday. Twitter shares have sunk 30% since the beginning of the year.

Online mega-retailer Amazon meanwhile fell 3.8%.

Johnson & Johnson topped the loser list among the 30 Dow blue chips, down 2.8%.

Oil prices were modestly lower, pushing Chevron shares down 1.1% and Schlumberger 0.8%.

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equities  |  international markets

 
 
 
 

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