US stocks decline on disappointing jobs data

New York, Oct 3 (IANS) The US stocks reversed part of early sharp losses to trade moderately lower around midday Friday, as Wall Street was assessing the weaker-than-expected US non-farm payroll report.

By noon, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 79.00 points, or 0.49 percent, to 16,193.01. The S&P 500 fell 9.85 points, or 0.51 percent, to 1,913.97. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 14.46 points, or 0.31 percent, to 4,612.62, Xinhua news agency reported.

The US total non-farm payroll employment increased by 142,000 in September, well below market consensus of 203,000, the Labour Department announced on Friday.

Thus far in 2015, job growth has averaged 198,000 per month, compared with an average monthly gain of 260,000 in 2014.

In September, average hourly earnings for all employees on private non-farm payrolls fell by 1 cent to $25.09, also missing estimates.

The unemployment rate held at 5.1 percent in September. Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons were down 0.8 percentage point and 1.3 million, respectively.

“Slower job growth, falling participation and stagnant wage growth are hardly a recipe for rate hikes, despite Williams’ attempt to lower the jobs bar yesterday,” said Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial.

On Thursday, San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams renewed his call for an interest-rate hike “sometime later this year”, citing near-full employment and rapidly rising house prices that may be a sign of excessive economic optimism.

Meanwhile, the US new orders for manufactured goods in August decreased $8.2 bn, or 1.7 percent, to $473.0 bn, below market expectations of a 1.3-percent decline, said the Commerce Department on Friday.

The US stocks ended largely unchanged after volatile trading on Thursday, as investors digested mixed economic reports amid the International Monetary Fund chief’s remarks on the global economy.

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