US stocks close down after jobs figures

NYSE traders Image copyright Reuters

US stocks closed down on Friday after figures indicated the US economy added fewer jobs than expected last month.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 28 points at 18,240.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 14 points to 5,292, while the S&P 500 dipped 7 points to 2,153.

Official figures showed the US economy created 156,000 jobs in September, the third month in a row the figure has fallen. The figure was slightly weaker than expected.

However, analysts said the Federal Reserve was still likely to raise interest rates before the end of the year.

"Today's data are not weak enough to substantially alter the underlying picture of the Fed's next move being one of tightening policy. It likely remains just a case of when, rather than whether, rates will rise," said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit.

"While a November rate hike therefore looks highly unlikely, given the proximity of the election and signs of a current weak-spot in the economy persisting into the third quarter, an election result that is positively received by the markets and business leaders will most likely pave the way for a December Fed rate hike, providing the economic data flow does not deteriorate further in the meantime."

Among individual stocks, Gap jumped 15% after the clothing retailer said underlying sales fell by less than expected in September.

Honeywell International dived 7.5% after the aerospace parts supplier trimmed its sales and profit forecasts for this year.

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