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Consumer ETFs Fall on Jobs Data

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Markets recovered in the latter half of Friday's trading after dropping more than 1% following weak jobs data.

Consumer-focused exchange-traded funds came under selling pressure early in the day, soon after data showed that the U.S. economy shed 131,000 jobs, far more than the projected 87,000 decrease. On Thursday, retailers declared lower-than-expected same-store sales, which also worsened investor sentiment.

By the end of the Friday session, this particular batch of ETFs managed to recover some of their losses, though they still finished in the red.

The SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT), which shed more than 2% in early trading, closed 0.5% lower. Its top holdings include Aeropostale (ARO - Get Report), which lost close to 4% after an analyst at Wells Fargo (WF) downgraded the stock to market perform.

The Consumer Discretionary Select SPDR (XLY ) gave up 0.7%, dragged lower by selling in Amazon (AMZN - Get Report), among other stocks. Vanguard Consumer Discretionary (VCR) and First Trust Consumer Discretionary AlphaDEX (FXD), an actively-traded ETF, were other prominent losers.

Financial ETFs also lost ground, even as markets recovered. The SPDR Financial Select Sector (XLF) retreated 0.8%.

Weak economic data, however, helped drive investor appetite for gold and gold-mining ETFs. The SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) rose by 0.8%, and Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX), rose by nearly 1%.

-- Reported by Shanthi Venkataraman in New York.

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Copyright 2010 TheStreet.com Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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