Saturday, April 18th15.6°C
25933
24291

Stocks drift mostly lower as tensions build in Ukraine, offsetting pickup in hiring last month

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Stocks were directionless in afternoon trading Friday as tensions built in Ukraine, where the region of Crimea was preparing for a referendum on whether to split away and become part of Russia. Those concerns offset an encouraging pickup in hiring by U.S. employers last month.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost four points, or 0.2 per cent, to 1,873 as of 2:30 p.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones industrial average was down six points, or less than 0.1 per cent, at 16,415. The Nasdaq composite lost 31 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 4,320. Three stocks fell for every two that rose on the New York Stock Exchange.

BIGGEST LOSERS: Biotechnology and health care stocks were among the biggest decliners. Biogen Idec was down roughly 4 per cent. Gilead Sciences was down 2 per cent. The Nasdaq composite index is more heavily weighted to biotechnology and specialty pharmaceutical companies, which is part of the reason the index is down much more than the Dow or S&P 500.

JOBS: The Labor Department's report of 175,000 job additions last month was much better than expected. Economists had been forecasting an increase of 145,000 jobs, according to FactSet. Investors had low expectations because of winter storms that hit much of the country last month. The positive job figures were a relief because the harsh weather closed factories, lowered auto sales, and caused existing-home sales to plummet.

"People are hoping and praying that the recent slowness was weather related, and while this report gave people a little bit of hope that is the case, it is still too early to tell," said Krishna Memani, chief investment officer of OppenheimerFunds.

BONDS DROP: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.79 per cent from 2.74 per cent late Thursday. The yield had been as low as 2.60 per cent earlier this week.

DON'T FORGET UKRAINE: Lawmakers in Russian-occupied Crimea unanimously declared they wanted to join Russia and would put the decision to voters in 10 days. President Barack Obama and several other Western leaders have condemned the referendum.

"The concerns on the geopolitical front are overshadowing the good news we got from the jobs number," said Dean Junkans, chief investment officer at Wells Fargo Private Bank, which manages $170 billion in assets.

BIG GAIN FOR BIG LOTS: The discount retail chain Big Lots soared $6.10, or 21 per cent, to $35.36. Big Lots reported a decline in fourth-quarter profits but the company's sales came in much better than expected. The company also said it would shut down its struggling Canadian operations.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

25694


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX15360.55-26.22
S&P CDNX702.85-2.74
DJIA17826.30-279.47
Nasdaq4931.81-75.98
S&P 5002081.18-23.81
CDN Dollar0.8169-0.0001
Gold1204.10+6.10
Oil56.14-0.57
Lumber245.50-9.80
Natural Gas2.641-0.043

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.12+0.00
Knighthawk0.010.00
QHR Technologies Inc1.40-0.01
Cantex0.035+0.005
Anavex Life Sciences0.33+0.02
Metalex Ventures0.075+0.030
Russel Metals27.48-0.23
Copper Mountain Mining1.13+0.01
Colorado Resources0.10-0.00
ReliaBrand Inc0.005+0.001
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.04-0.01
Mission Ready Services0.175-0.010
Decisive Dividend Corporation1.80+0.15

 





FEATURED Property
2225608910 Broadway St NW
3 bedrooms 2 baths
$375,000
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Calling on your help!

Has the internet flattened prices as predicted? Has the internet created opportunities for your business to find higher priced markets further afield? Is posting prices on your website a good thing o...


Living with Plan B

“It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.”― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit Photo: Thinkstock.comHuman beings are optimists by nature. Whether...


Reverse mortgage solution

With the housing and financial markets on solid footing, some retired Canadians may consider cashing in their growing assets to enjoy vacations and major home renovations. Others, on the other hand, a...

_








Member of BC Press Council


25249