Stocks ended lower on Friday, though off their lows earlier in the day, as investors digested an uninspiring U.S. payrolls report and a failure among the Group of 20 to reach an agreement over what to do about the European debt crisis.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed at 11,983.24, down 61.23 points, or 0.5 per cent. The broader S&P 500 closed at 1,253.23, down 7.92 points, or 0.6 per cent. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index closed at 12,408.25, down 60.10 points, or 0.5 per cent.
The U.S. Labour Department reported that payrolls rose by 80,000 in October, while the unemployment rate retreated to 9 per cent from 9.1 per cent – but the job gains did not meet economists’ expectations and provided little indication that the country’s labour situation was making any meaningful improvements.
Meanwhile, the G20 ended their two-day summit in France without any nations rushing to assist with the region’s bailout fund. The backdrop wasn’t pretty: The Greek government remains fragile, at the same time that rising Italian borrowing costs threaten to take the sovereign-debt crisis into a new, and disturbing, direction.
Groupon Inc.'s debut as a publicly traded stock was one bright spot within the market. The shares rose to $26.11 (U.S.), up more than 30 per cent from their initial public offering in a volatile session that saw the shares rise as high as $31.14.
However, Bank of America Corp. fell 6.1 per cent after the financial firm said late on Thursday that it will issue more common shares, despite assurances earlier in the year that it wouldn’t do so.
In other moves, Intel Corp. fell 1.9 per cent and General Electric Co. fell 1.7 per cent. Among the gains, McDonald’s Corp. rose 0.9 per cent and Alcoa Inc. rose 0.6 per cent.
In Canada, energy stocks were generally weak. Suncor Energy Inc. fell 0.9 per cent and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. fell 1.3 per cent. Financials slid as well, with Toronto-Dominion Bank down 1.3 per cent and Royal Bank of Canada down 2.4 per cent.