Stocks extend loss streak to 5 weeks

By Kate Gibson, MarketWatch
Posted June 03, 2011, at 9:55 p.m.

NEW YORK — U.S. stocks finished lower Friday, with the Dow industrials logging their fifth straight weekly drop, after a gloomy May jobs report that was partly offset by more upbeat data on the service sector.

“The jobless data was clearly a shock to the system today, as investors were reminded that the economy is going nowhere fast,” said Keith Springer, president of Springer Financial Advisors in Sacramento, Calif.

The financial sector ended off the day’s lows, helping the benchmarks trim their decline, after the leader of a group of European finance ministers said new aid for Greece would be approved.

Scaling back from a 140-point drop, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 97.29 points, or 0.8 percent, to close at 12,151.26. For the week, shortened by Monday’s Memorial Day holiday, the blue-chip average lost 2.3 percent, giving the index its longest weekly losing streak since July 2004.

Twenty-eight of the blue-chip index’s 30 components lost ground Friday.

The sole blue-chip gainer was Wal-Mart Stores Inc., up 0.2 percent, after the discount retailer unveiled a $15 billion share-repurchase program at its annual shareholders’ meeting.

Off 2.3 percent from last week’s close, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index shed 12.78 points, or 1 percent, to end at 1,300.16, with telecom off the most and energy faring best among its 10 industry groups. The index has also fallen for five straight weeks, its longest weekly losing streak since July 2008.

The Nasdaq composite index declined 40.53 points, or 1.5 percent, to close at 2,732.78, leaving the index down 2.3 percent on the week.

The benchmark indexes came off their session lows after the Institute for Supply Management reported its services index rose to 54.6 percent in May from 52.8 percent in April, a result slightly better than analysts surveyed by MarketWatch had expected.

Ahead of the opening bell, the government reported tepid jobs growth in May, with the addition of 54,000 nonfarm payrolls, a fraction of the increase expected by many analysts.

“The economy is still growing but clearly at a pace that is lackluster and certainly not fast enough to absorb many of those looking for work,” said Peter Boockvar, equity strategist at Miller Tabak.

Crude-oil futures fell 18 cents to end at $100.22 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/06/03/business/stocks-extend-loss-streak-to-5-weeks/ printed on September 21, 2014