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Markets: the Dow Jones industrials gyrated again Friday, a day after their largest ever one-day plunge.

Markets: The Dow Jones industrials gyrated again Friday, a day after their largest ever one-day plunge. The average was down as much as 279 points in the morning, went briefly into the black around lunchtime, and then ended with a loss of 139. Not nearly as terrifying as the brief 1,000-point plunge the day before, but still volatile enough. It's normal for markets to trade erratically a day after such a disruptive move, but analysts were divided over whether stocks are seeking a bottom or whether the majority of investors are too rattled to get back in. "It's a pile of uncertainty. We don't have any more clarity than we did yesterday," said Art Hogan, chief market analyst at Jefferies & Co. in Boston. "We're going to have investors who are less inclined to be in this marketplace until we get some clarity." Traders were still anxious amid lingering questions about what caused Thursday's sudden drop. Several possibilities were being investigated but as of late Friday, no clear explanation had emerged.

Investors looked past a surprisingly strong report Friday on the U.S. jobs market and focused instead on the latest moves in Europe's spreading debt crisis. Their concerns have fed a wave of turbulence over the past two weeks, including four straight days of selling last week, and helped trigger Thursday's plunge. The concerns about Europe's debt crisis go far beyond Greece. A further loss of confidence in European government debt could have an impact on other weak countries like Portugal, potentially requiring another difficult bailout process. Germany's parliament approved Berlin's share of the rescue package after a boisterous debate, but investors still fear that Greece may not make a May 19 deadline for a debt repayment. That could cause ripple effects throughout the global financial system and further undermine Europe's shared currency, the euro.

The U.S. Labor Department on Friday reported that employers added 290,000 jobs last month, far more than expected and the biggest jump in four years. However the jobless rate rose to 9.9% from 9.7% as more people looked for work. For the helter-skelter week, the Dow closed down 628.18, or 6%, to 10,380.43. The S&P 500 lost 75.81, or 6%, to close at 1,110.88. The Nasdaq Composite slid 195.55, or 8%, to 2,265.64.
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Title Annotation:WALL ST./FINANCE; Dow Jones & Company Inc.; United States. Department of Labor
Publication:MondayMorning
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 10, 2010
Words:393
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