The main US indexes were fluctuating between gains and losses on Friday afternoon after the release of pivotal employment figures, with the Nasdaq Composite fractionally higher while the Standard & Poor’s 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell.
The indexes were constrained by a decline in the S&P 500’s financials sector of about 1.1%, while real estate gained about 0.9%. On the Dow, 17 of the 30 components were in the green, even as the overall gauge headed lower as Goldman Sachs (GS) decreased 1.9% and American Express (AXP) lost 1.3%.
The economy created 178,000 new jobs last month, slightly ahead of projections for a gain of 170,000, while the jobless rate fell to a 9-year low of 4.6%. But average hourly earnings contracted by 0.1%, a sign that economic growth could be impeded by the dearth of disposable income.
Investors were also keeping a watch on this weekend’s European referendums, including a vote Sunday in Italy on constitutional reform has the potential to force the country out of the euro bloc, with the risk that other countries will follow, according to brokerage Raymond James. A presidential election in Austria is also being closely watched as an indicator on other upcoming regional votes.