The ninth full trading week of 2015 comes to a close with the Dow Jones, S&P 500 and NASDAQ composite all lower in early afternoon trading on Friday.
Most actively traded stocks include Bank of America (BAC) up 1.5%, Apple (AAPL) up 0.6%, Citigroup (C) down 0.9%, and Chesapeake Energy (CHK) down 4.8%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite are all lower in the last five days of trading.
Crude oil futures are higher this week, trading at $49.27 per barrel on Friday afternoon.
And Gold futures are lower so far this week, trading at $1167.78 an ounce this afternoon.
In economic news, in the week ending February 28, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 320,000, an increase of 7,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 313,000. The 4-week moving average was 304,750, an increase of 10,250 from the previous week's unrevised average of 294,500.
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 295,000 in February, and the unemployment rate edged down to 5.5 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Job gains occurred in food services and drinking places, professional and business services, construction, health care, and in transportation and warehousing. Employment in mining was down over the month.
Both the unemployment rate (5.5 percent) and the number of unemployed persons (8.7 million) edged down in February. Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons were down by 1.2 percentage points and 1.7 million, respectively.
In corporate dividend news, Verizon Communications ( VZ ) declared a quarterly dividend of 55 cents per outstanding share, unchanged from the previous quarter. The dividend is payable on May 1, 2015, to Verizon Communications shareowners of record at the close of business on April 10, 2015.
Amgen ( AMGN ) declared a $0.79 per share dividend for the second quarter of 2015. The dividend will be paid on June 5, 2015, to all stockholders of record as of the close of business on May 14, 2015.
Hess Corporation ( HES ) declared a regular quarterly dividend of 25 cents per share payable on the Common Stock of the Corporation on March 31, 2015 to holders of record at the close of business on March 19, 2015.
CVS Health Corporation ( CVS ) has approved a quarterly dividend of $0.35 per share on the corporation's common stock. The dividend is payable on May 4, 2015, to holders of record on April 24, 2015.
Staples ( SPLS ) has declared a quarterly cash dividend on Staples common stock of $0.12 per share. The dividend is payable on April 16, 2015, to shareholders of record on March 27, 2015.
And, U.S. Bancorp (USB) has declared a quarterly dividend of $0.245 per common share payable April 15, 2015 to stockholders of record at the close of business on March 31, 2015. At this quarterly dividend rate, the annual dividend is equivalent to $0.98 per common share.
This is the 'Weekly Market Wrap' for Friday, March 6, 2015.
Please join us on Monday for the Week Ahead Market Report.