- US stocks tumbled Friday, dragged by mega-cap tech shares that were battered by the Omicron volatility.
- The disappointing November jobs report added an additional layer of uncertainty.
- The 10-year Treasury yield slipped to 1.355% from Thursday’s 1.447% rate.
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US stocks tumbled Friday, dragged by mega-cap technology shares that were battered by the volatility brought about by the new coronavirus strain this week.
The disappointing November jobs report added an additional layer of uncertainty as investors try to chart the path of Federal Reserve policy going into 2022.
Here’s where US indexes stood at the 4:00 p.m. ET close on Friday:
- S&P 500: 4,538.42, down 0.85%
- Dow Jones Industrial Average: 34,580.08, down 0.17% (59.71 points)
- Nasdaq Composite: 15,085.47, down 1.92%
US nonfarm payrolls grew by 210,000 last month — way below the median forecast of 550,000 jobs from economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
The reading showed hiring slowed dramatically from October’s revised gain of 546,000. November was expected to extend the fall’s healthy job growth after the Delta coronavirus variant hammered hiring through the summer.
Yet new headwinds stood in the way of blockbuster gains — among them, the new Omicron coronavirus variant and the ongoing supply-chain crisis.
“While there’s seemingly a huge miss on the payrolls front, there are significant bright spots—the unemployment rate is flirting with pre-pandemic levels and the participation rate ticked up,” Mike Loewengart, managing director of investment strategy at E-Trade Financial, said in a statement. “There’s likely not enough to go on for the Fed to change its course on tapering.”
The unemployment rate tumbled to 4.2% from 4.6%, according to the report. Economists anticipated a reading of 4.5%. The number of unemployed Americans fell by 542,000 in November.
Equities whipsawed this week as investors try to assess the threat posed by Omicron. So far, almost a dozen cases have been detected in the US, and the next couple of weeks will remain volatile, according to Edward Moya, senior equity analyst at Oanda.
“The focus falls on the latest inflation report, the December 15th FOMC meeting, and further clarity on the impact with the Omicron variant,” he said in a note.
The 10-year Treasury note yield slipped to 1.355% from Thursday’s 1.447% rate. Bond yields move inversely to prices.
In digital assets, metaverse-related cryptocurrencies have surged an eye-popping 37,000% this year — far exceeding the gains of bitcoin, data from Macro Hive shows. The five coins it tracked are Axie Infinity, Decentraland, Sandbox, Enjin Coin, and GALA, which rallied 20% over the past seven days alone.
Gold rose as much as 0.94% to $US1,785.79 ($AU2,545) per ounce.