U.S. stocks fall on data, geopolitical concerns; Dow falls 0.42%

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Investing.com - U.S. stocks fell on Friday after investors sold on fears Argentina's default, the conflict in Ukraine and a soft global recovery don't support the lofty valuations present on Wall Street in recent trading.

A lackluster U.S. jobs report fueled losses as well.

At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow 30 fell 0.42%, the S&P 500 index fell 0.29%, while the NASDAQ Composite index fell 0.39%.


The Volatility S&P 500 index, which measures the outlook for market volatility, was up 0.18% at 16.98.

Argentina this week failed to agree on debt restructuring terms with creditors and fell into its second default since 2002, which rattled nerves on Wall Street due to concerns the global economy could suffer if contagion fears persist, though such fears began to wane later in the session and curbed losses.

Sluggish data out of the U.S. and Europe also kept stocks in negative territory.

The Labor Department reported earlier that the U.S. economy added 209,000 jobs in July, missing expectations for an increase of 233,000.

The report also showed that the U.S. unemployment rate ticked up to 6.2% last month from 6.1% in June. Analysts had expected the rate to remain unchanged in July.

Elsewhere, the revised Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index rose to 81.8 in July from 81.3 in June, missing expectations for a reading of 82.0, which added to Friday's profit taking.

Separately in the U.S., the Institute of Supply Management reported that the U.S. manufacturing purchasing managers' index rose to 57.1 in July from 55.3 in June, beating expectations for an increase to 56.0, though the number did little to boost spirits on Wall Street.

Meanwhile in Europe, the Markit research group said that Germany's manufacturing purchasing managers' index fell to 52.4 last month from 52.9 in June. Analysts had expected the index to remain unchanged.

For the entire euro zone, Markit said the manufacturing PMI ticked down to 51.8 in July, from a reading of 51.9 the previous month. Analysts had also expected the index to remain unchanged.

Separately in Asia, official data showed that China's manufacturing PMI rose to 51.7 from 51.0 in July, beating market expectations for a 51.4 reading.

Still, China's HSBC final manufacturing PMI ticked down to 51.7 last month from 52.0. Analysts had expected the index to remain unchanged.

Fears that military conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza also kept investors at bay, as concerns persisted Friday that geopolitical issues will dampen global recovery, as shaky ceasefires in the Middle East and reports of Russian interference in Ukraine dampened demand for risk-on asset classes.

Leading Dow Jones Industrial Average performers included Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG), up 3.01%, General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), up 0.80%, and Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE), up 0.57%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average's worst performers included J P Morgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM), down 2.08%, American Express Company (NYSE:AXP), down 1.76%, and Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS), down 1.53%.

European indices, meanwhile, ended the day lower.

After the close of European trade, the DJ Euro Stoxx 50 fell 1.39%, France's CAC 40 fell 1.02%, while Germany's DAX fell 2.10%. Meanwhile, in the U.K. the FTSE 100 fell 0.76%.

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This article appears in: Investing , Forex and Currencies

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