Stocks Close Lower After Jobs Report and as Coronavirus Worries Linger

Stocks finish down Friday following four days of gains after a strong U.S. jobs report is overshadowed by lingering coronavirus concern.
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  1. Stocks closed lower Friday following four days of gains after the U.S. economy added more jobs than expected in January but worries about the spread of coronavirus lingered.
  2. The U.S. added 225,000 jobs in January and the unemployment rate edged higher to 3.6% during the month.
  3. Uber is Real Money's Stock of the Day. The ride-hailing company said it expects to be profitable by the fourth quarter of 2020.

Stocks ended lower Friday following four days of gains as a better-than-expected jobs report was overshadowed by lingering coronavirus concerns.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 277 points, or 0.94%, to 29,103. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq both ended down 0.54%.

Caterpillar (CAT) - Get Report, IBM (IBM) - Get Report and 3M (MMM) - Get Report led the Dow's retreat.

Nonfarm payrolls rose to 225,000 last month, up from a revised 147,000 new positions in December and above analysts' forecasts of 161,500. The unemployment rate ticked up from a 50-year low to 3.6%. Wages gained 3.1% year on year, a slight rise above December’s 3% pace.

“January’s better-than-expected jobs report is well-timed in that it boosts economic confidence just when coronavirus fears had investors questioning the growth outlook," said Alec Young, managing director of global markets research at FTSE Russell. 

"That said, stocks are overbought after a huge rally, some of which has been predicated on hopes for a June Fed rate cut, which now seems highly unlikely. As such, equities may not react positively in the near term despite the strong read on the labor market.”

Markets in Asia and Europe traded mostly lower Friday as concern continued to grow over the pace of new coronavirus infections and China's ability to contain the outbreak.

Chinese President Xi Jinping held a telephone call with President Donald Trump to assure him of China's efforts. 

But the death of a young doctor in Wuhan who first identified the spread of the virus only to be threatened by local police has some observers concerned with the level of transparency about the information coming from Beijing.

The death toll from the coronavirus has risen to 640 and the number of people infected has passed 31,000.

The Federal Reserve, in its monetary report to Congress, said Friday that "spillovers from the effects of the coronavirus in China have presented a new risk" to the economic outlook for the U.S.

Uber (UBER) - Get Report rose sharply Friday after the ride-hailing company said it would turn a profit by the fourth quarter of 2020, earlier than its previous forecasts.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said Uber will turn its losses into a profit by the end of 2020, ahead of its prior target of 2021.

“Our progress in 2019 and our 2020 plans give me the confidence to challenge our teams to accelerate our Ebitda profitability target from full-year 2021 to Q4 2020,” Khosrowshahi said.

AbbVie (ABBV) - Get Report posted stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings and forecast solid 2020 profit as rising cancer drug sales helped offset flat revenue from its Humira rheumatoid arthritis treatment.

AbbVie is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS member club. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells ABBV? Learn more now.

Canada Goose (GOOS) - Get Report, the down-filled luxury winter parka maker, reported fiscal third-quarter results that beat expectations on strong international sales but cautioned that the coronavirus health crisis will have an impact on future sales and earnings. 

Tidjane Thiam, CEO of Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse (CS) - Get Report, abruptly resigned Friday following a spying scandal and a boardroom struggle with Chairman Urs Rohner.

Activision Blizzard (ATVI) - Get Report , the maker of video games, reported fourth-quarter earnings and revenue ahead of analysts' estimates and healthy first-quarter guidance.

The company’s "Call of Duty" first-person shooting game once again was the crown jewel of the holiday season, generating more upfront console sales than any other franchise worldwide. That is the 10th time in the last 11 years "Call of Duty" achieved that status.

Skechers (SKX) - Get Report shares jumped after the shoe producer and retailer reported met profit estimates for the fourth quarter and a number of analysts raised their target prices.