Tallahassee Journal

Stocks mixed on jobs news, rate speculation

Stocks mixed on jobs news, rate speculation

Stocks stayed sluggish Friday on news that 280,000 jobs were added in May while unemployment ticked up to 5.5%. Retail powerhouse and Dow icon Walmart announced Rob Walton is stepping down as chairman, a post the son of the company founder has held since 1992. WMT took a 1.5% pounding.AP FINANCIAL MARKETS WALL STREET F USA NY

The robust jobs number spurred talk that a Fed rate hike is on the near horizon again. Here’s where benchmarks finished the day. Dow: Down 0.3%, 56 points, to 17,849.4. Nasdaq: Up 0.2%, 9 points, to 5068.46. S&P: Down 0.1%, 3 points, to 2092.83 Yields on the 10-year Treasury shot up to just over the 2.4% level. The labor market’s spring rebound strengthened in May as U.S. employers added 280,000 jobs. The unemployment rate rose to 5.5% from 5.4%, the Labor Department said. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected employment gains of 220,000, according to their median forecast.

Greece’s announcement that it won’t make a scheduled Friday repayment on a bailout loan made European markets tumble, with Britain’s FTSE ending down 0.8%, Germany’s DAX falling 1.3% and France’s CAC 40 dropping 1.3%. Greek officials said Thursday the debt-plagued country won’t make the 300 million euro loan repayment due Friday. Instead, Greece will bundle four scheduled paybacks this month into one by June 30, the International Monetary Fund said. The Greek debt situation also affected stocks in Asia. Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.1%, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index tumbled 1.1%. Meanwhile, Shangai’s SSE Composite ended up 1.5%.

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