us stocks lower after up and down week
Last Updated : GMT 03:57:42
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

US stocks lower after up and down week

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today US stocks lower after up and down week

New York Stock Exchange
New York - AFP

US stocks opened the week with a flourish and ended with a thud.
Monday's trade saw the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index bolt above 5,000 for the first time in 15 years in a charge that also lifted the Dow and S&P 500 to fresh records.
But the market spent the rest of the week playing defense, falling three of the four subsequent days, including a plunge Friday on renewed concerns about tighter monetary policy.
For the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 275.92 points (1.52 percent) at 17,856.78, while the broad-based S&P 500 fell 33.24 (29.78 percent) to 2,071.26.
The Nasdaq dropped 36.16 (0.73 percent) to 4,927.37.
Analysts said the week's losses suggested a market entering a "consolidation" phase after a torrid February.
"This week, the market seems to have stalled out like an automobile that's run out of gas," said Hugh Johnson of Hugh Johnson Advisors.
"The market has come very far, very fast in February and early March and it has become pricey and somewhat overvalued in the mind of many savvy professional investors."
- Jobs report rocks market -
The surge early in the week was sparked by a stream of merger announcements, including the $16.7 billion acquisition of Freescale Semiconductor by NXP Semiconductor. Other deals Monday involved Hewlett-Packard and Johnson & Johnson.
Market watchers were also cheered by a mid-week deal by pharma company AbbVie to buy leukemia drug maker Pharmacyclics for $21 billion.
Much of the week's economic data was mixed. US factory orders fell in January, while reports from the Institute for Supply Management showed slightly weaker growth in the manufacturing sector but slightly stronger growth in services.
The week's most eagerly anticipated release, the February jobs report on Friday, was mostly a winner.
The Labor Department said the US economy added a robust 295,000 jobs in February, which sent the unemployment rate down to 5.5 percent from 5.7 percent in January, the lowest level since May 2008.
A negative in the report was a paltry 0.1 percent rise in hourly wages compared with January.
The better-than-expected jobs report sent US markets into a tizzy. The dollar rose strongly, while US stocks plummeted as the market saw a greater likelihood that Federal Reserve will hike near-zero interest rates as early as June.
"There's a better chance today than yesterday" that the Fed policymakers will signal quicker action when they next meet on March 17- 18, said Gregori Volokhine, president of Meeschaert Capital Markets.
"But nobody knows if the Fed will raise rates in June, probably not even the Fed itself."
The week also closed with news of Apple's addition to the blue-chip Dow index this month, replacing AT&T.
S&P Dow Jones Indices said the shift would address the "overweight" share of telecommunications firms in the index and would better reflect the economy given Apple's stature as the biggest company by market capitalization.
Apple will be back in the news Monday at a San Francisco event expected to launch the Apple Watch.
Other highlights next week include the second phase of Fed stress tests on 31 large banks. The central bank is set to announce Wednesday which banks are eligible to pay dividends and buy back stock.
The data calendar is fairly light, with February retail sales on Thursday the major report.

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