U.S. Stocks Retreat As Jobs Data Suggest Uncertain Economic Recovery

By Sue ChangMarketsMarketWatch Pulse

U.S. stocks retreated on Friday after economic data indicated that the U.S. economy may not be as robust as thought, dampening expectations of a Federal Reserve interest-rate hike in June. The Labor Department said U.S. companies created just 38,000 new jobs last month, significantly below the 155,000 forecast by economists in a MarketWatch survey. The news comes at a time when investors have come to accept a summer rate increase as a sure bet on steady economic recovery but the weak jobs data are likely to contribute to more volatility in the market. The S&P 500 fell 6 points, or 0.3%, to close at 2,099 to finish the week flat. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 31 points, or 0.2%, to end at 17,807 for a weekly loss of 0.4%. The Nasdaq shed 29 points, or 0.6%, to close at 4,942 but finished 0.2% higher for the week.

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