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Stocks Decline for a Ninth Day, Despite Strong Jobs Data

Benchmark U.S. crude oil lost 61 cents to $44.05 on the New York Mercantile Exchange
By The News · 04 of November 2016 08:42:56
An entrance to a Wall Street subway station in New York, An entrance to a Wall Street subway station in New York. Global stocks markets were mostly higher Thursday Sept. 25, 2014 after a surge in new home sales in the U.S. bolstered sentiment. But gains were limited by worries about Europe's stagnant economy and violence in Iraq and Syria. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File), photo: AP/Mark Lennihan, File

The stock market is edging lower in early trading Friday, despite a strong jobs report for October, putting the market in danger of declining for a ninth straight day as investors continues to focus on the U.S. presidential election.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average lost 15 points, or 0.1 percent, 17,916 as of 9:45 a.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was little changed at 2,088 and the Nasdaq composite fell 3 points, or 0.1 percent, to 5,056.

PRESIDENTIAL RACE: With five days left until the election, Hillary Clinton is still leading in national polling but Donald Trump appears to have narrowed the gap, particularly in swing states. Investors like certainty, and Clinton is seen as likely to maintain the status quo. Trump’s policies are less clear, and the uncertainty has caused jitters in financial markets.

ANALYST TAKE: “No one really knows what Trump would do should he get into power, probably not even himself,” said Joshua Mahony, market analyst at IG. “It is that uncertainty that is driving the market negativity that has dominated this week.”

JOBS BACKDROP: The declines happened despite data that showed U.S. employers added a decent 161,000 jobs in October and raised pay sharply for many workers. The Labor Department’s monthly employment report Friday sketched a picture of a resilient job market. The pace of hiring has been consistent with a decent economy. The unemployment rate fell to 4.9 percent from 5 percent. And average hourly pay took a big step up, rising 10 cents an hour to an average of $25.92. That is 2.8 percent higher than a year ago and is the sharpest 12-month rise in seven years.

OUT OF FOCUS: GoPro, the maker of wearable cameras, plunged $1.72, or 14 percent, to $10.24. The company reported a 40 percent drop in revenue in the quarter, and gave a negative outlook for the holiday season. Like Fitbit, GoPro is showing signs of being unable to expand its product line beyond athletes and thrill-seekers.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil lost 61 cents to $44.05 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, declined 98 cents to $45.36 a barrel in London.

BONDS: U.S. government bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.77 percent from 1.81 percent the day before.