Stock Market Opens Slightly Lower As Weak Jobs, U.S. Airstrike In Syria Weigh

By Mark DeCambre Markets MarketWatch Pulse

U.S. stocks on Friday opened slightly lower as investors weighed a weaker-than-expected March employment data and President Donald Trump's late-Thursday airstrike against Syria. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 19 points, or 0.1%, at 20,646, while the S&P 500 index declined 2 points, or 0.1%, at 2,355, while the Nasdaq Composite Index opened off 7 points, or 0.1%, at 5,871. The Labor Department report showed that the U.S.created just 98,000 new jobs in March, marking the smallest gain in almost a year, as hiring cooled. Economists polled by MarketWatch had predicted a 185,000 increase in nonfarm jobs. Among the bright spots were the unemployment rate which fell to 4.5% from 4.7%, marking its lowest level in about a decade. The moves for stocks come as investors await the conclusion of a closely watched summit between President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping. In corporate news, shares of Raytheon Co. , maker of Tomahawk missiles used in the U.S.'s airstrike against Syria on Thursday, lead the S&P 500's early gainers. Meanwhile, crude-oil prices were edging slight higher as attacks in Syria can foster concerns about disruptions of supplies in the region, which can push prices higher.

Continue Reading Below

Copyright © 2017 MarketWatch, Inc.