Dow in Red on Surprise Job Losses; Dems Plan for Stimulus Boost Hits Snag By

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By Yasin Ebrahim – The Dow fell Friday on a surprise decline in monthly jobs, and cooling expectations for stronger stimulus-led recovery as some Democrats appear hesitant to back the idea of boosting stimulus checks.

The fell 0.38%, or 116 points. The was down 0.07%, while the added 0.32% to remain on course for another record close.

The U.S. economy lost 140,000 last month, confounding expectations for a gain of 70,000, but economists suggested the near-term wobble in the economy will likely be overlooked as vaccines are deployed and Democrats are likely to roll out more stimulus.

The unexpected job losses broke the streak of seven straight months of gains since the decline over March and April, but markets are “likely looking through near-term considerations as a transitory hit in favor of longer-term upside risk tentatively reinforced by vaccines and ‘blue wave’ fiscal policy considerations,” Scotiabank Economics said.

Despite the Democrats taking control of the Senate, there are members who have railed against the idea of boosting stimulus, marking a blow to expectations for a quick stimulus roll out amid a 50-50 split between the parties in the Senate.

West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin shot down the idea of boosting checks to $2,000, insisting that he would “absolutely not” support the proposal.

As well as cooling stimulus hopes, the ongoing surge in coronavirus cases also weighed on sentiment as the U.S. reported 4,000 deaths in a day for the first time on Thursday.

The broader decline was paced by weakness in value stocks as materials, industrials and financials came under pressure.

Financials fell more than 1% with investors seemingly taking profit on a strong week for banking names ahead of their earnings slated for next week.

JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:) fell 1%, Citigroup (NYSE:) slipped 2% and Wells Fargo (NYSE:) was down 2%.

Tech stocks traded just above the flatline as the Fab 5 traded mix, while chip stocks gave up gains.

Apple (NASDAQ:), (NASDAQ:), Alphabet (NASDAQ:) traded higher, while Microsoft (NASDAQ:) and Facebook (NASDAQ:) fell into the red.

Micron Technology Inc (NASDAQ:), which had hit a more than 20-year intraday high on better-than-expected first-quarter earnings and guidance, fell 1.72% following a reversal in chip stocks. TSM and Broadcom (NASDAQ:) both turn negative.

In other news, Tesla (NASDAQ:) continued to rack up gains, up 6%, taking its market value above $830 billion, with the electric automaker topping Facebook’s $750 billion valuation.

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