Wall Street Edges Lower as Banks Lose Steam

Markets Reuters

U.S. stocks edged lower on Friday after a payrolls report did little to alter expectations for an interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve this month and bank stocks cooled for a second straight session.

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A U.S. Labor Department report showed employers in private and public sectors hired more people last month than economists had expected, further cementing expectations of an interest rate hike when the U.S. central bank meets Dec. 13 and 14.

But investors' reaction to Friday's jobs report was muted as markets appeared to have already priced in a hike this month.

"The Fed rate hike being baked in, combined with the presidential transition, made this one an afterthought," said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade in Chicago.

Major Wall Street indexes have hit a series of record highs over the past three weeks in the wake of Donald Trump's victory in the U.S. presidential election, as investors have rotated into sectors expected to benefit from campaign promises of tax cuts, infrastructure spending and bank deregulation.

The S&P 500 financial index <.SPSY> has risen nearly 13 percent since the Nov. 8 vote, while industrials <.SPLRCI> have climbed more than 7 percent.

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But financials cooled on Friday, down 1 percent as the worst performing of the 11 major S&P sectors.

"There may be a little bit of extra pressure on financials today only because they have had such a nice run," said Kinahan.

Goldman Sachs <GS.N>, off 1.5 percent, fell for the first time in four days, while Bank of America <BAC.N>, off 1.3 percent, Citigroup <C.N>, down 1.7 percent, and Wells Fargo <WFC.N> lost 1.5 percent as the top drags on the S&P.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> fell 33.76 points, or 0.18 percent, to 19,158.17, the S&P 500 <.SPX> lost 0.91 point, or 0.04 percent, to 2,190.17 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 0.16 point, or 0 percent, to 5,251.27.

Starbucks <SBUX.O> fell 2.1 percent to $57.30 after the coffee chain operator said Howard Schultz would step down as chief executive officer.

Pandora <P.N> surged more than 12.3 percent after CNBC reported the internet radio company was in talks to sell itself to Sirius XM <SIRI.O>.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.10-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.08-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 17 new 52-week highs and six new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 75 new highs and 49 new lows.

 

(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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