Friday, August 1, 2008

Stocks Chilled by GM, Jobs Data

Stocks traded lower for nearly the entire session on Friday, with all major indices pushing closer to mid-July depths after a mid-week run-up.

The damper du jour on the markets was two-fold. General Motors reported a $15.5 billion loss in the second quarter, with July sales falling 32% from a year ago. On the economic news front, the Labor Department reported non-farm payrolls for July down another 51,000, marking the 7th consecutive month of job losses. The "official" unemployment rate rose for the sixth straight month, to 5.7%, the highest in 4 years.

With those items greeting investors this morning, there was little euphoria on Wall Street as the week came to an end and the month of August began with an inauspicious start.

Dow 11,326.32 -51.70; NASDAQ 2,310.96 -14.59; S&P 500 1,260.31 -7.07; NYSE Composite 8,379.15 -59.49

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Advancers and decliners were nearly even in lackluster, low-volume trading, with gainers holding a slim edge, 2972-2969. There were 261 new lows and just 87 new highs.

Crude oil gained $1.02, to $125.10. Gold $5.20, to $917.50, while silver dropped another 27 cents, to $17.52. The metals are still exhibiting signs of cracking, indicative of global recession.

.... and that's the good news for the week. Good luck.

NYSE Volume 1,226,226,000
NASDAQ Volume 2,188,498,000

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