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Stocks Trade Lower Following Nonfarm Payrolls Report

The Dow Jones flat-lined on Friday, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq declined.

The Dow and broader U.S. stock market traded lower on Friday, as investors dissected the latest jobs numbers from the Department of Labor.

Wall Street’s major indices were mixed at the close, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) flat-lining at 36,231.66.

The broad S&P 500 Index (SPY) of large-cap stocks fell 0.4% to settle at 4,677.03. Most sectors finished in negative territory.

Meanwhile, the technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index (QQQ) declined 1% to close at 14,935.90.

A measure of implied volatility known as the CBOE VIX (VXX) declined on Friday. The so-called “investor fear index” reached an intraday low of 18.65 on a scale of 1-100, where 20 represents the historical average. It would eventually settle down 4.3% at 18.76.

In commodities, oil prices declined on Friday, as U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures fell 55 cents, or 0.7%, to $78.91 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent, the international futures contract, declined 23 cents, or 0.3%, to $81.76 a barrel.

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In precious metals, gold prices rose, as the February futures contract advanced $7.80, or 0.4%, to $1,797.00 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Silver futures gained 22 cents, or 1%, to trade at $22.41 a troy ounce.

The Final Word: In economic data, U.S. employers added 199,000 workers to payrolls in December, far fewer than the 400,000 analysts were expecting. The unemployment rate declined to 3.9% from 4.2% the previous month.