US stocks stage huge comeback, still close lower in volatile post-jobs-report session



a man wearing a suit and tie talking on a cell phone: Spencer Platt/Getty Images


© Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

  • US stocks ended Friday lower, even after the August jobs report showed strong job additions and a better-than-expected unemployment rate.
  • Major indexes were dragged lower by their most heavily weighted tech stocks for a second straight day.
  • Megacap tech names like Amazon, Microsoft, and Alphabet led declines.
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US stocks closed lower to cap off a volatile session. Major indexes dove shortly after the market open, only to stage a sharp recovery in the afternoon before drifting lower once to end the day.

The losses came amid reports that the Japanese conglomerate SoftBank was responsible for buying market-moving chunks of megacap tech stocks over the past several months. Names like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google were among the biggest drags on major indexes Friday.

Traders also weighed the August jobs report. The US added 1.37 million jobs in August, slightly more than economist expectations. The unemployment rate also came in at 8.4%, handily besting consensus forecasts and well below the post-pandemic high of 14.7%. Here’s what four economists had to say about it.

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 4 p.m. ET market close on Friday:

Read more: Morgan Stanley’s wealth management CIO warns there are ‘particularly ominous’ signs about the state of the stock market’s health — and recommends jumping into these 4 trades during the next major sell-off

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While the Thursday market sell-off may have put pressure on Washington to ready an additional stimulus measure amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Friday’s strong jobs report may have slowed that urgency.

Investors continue to size up how long it will take for the economy to recover from the pandemic, and how much higher stocks can go. While tech stocks have led the market higher since the pandemic-induced market correction began in February, the sustainability of their valuations are beginning to be questioned.

Oil prices slid. West Texas Intermediate crude fell as much as 4.9% to $39.35 a barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, slid 4% to $42.30 a barrel at intraday lows.

Gold jumped as much as 0.8% to $1,947.15 per ounce before paring some gains.

Read more: ‘You can make 5, 10, 50x your money’: Here’s an inside look at the 7-part strategy small-stock expert Ian Cassel is using to unearth the market’s most overlooked gems

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