Wall Street fell from record levels on Friday after a four-day rally as investors digested the monthly US jobs report and braced for the next coronavirus developments, but stocks still posted solid gains for the week. The S&P 500 recorded its biggest weekly percentage increase in eight months and the Nasdaq tallied its biggest weekly rise in more than a year.

The Labor Department’s closely watched employment report showed non-farm payrolls increased by 225,000 jobs last month, while economists polled by Reuters had forecast payrolls would rise by 160,000 jobs. The report followed other encouraging US economic data earlier in the week. Indeed, key risks to the US economy have receded, the Federal Reserve said in its latest monetary policy report to congress, but the Fed did note risk from the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak. The death toll in mainland China topped 630 as the coronavirus epidemic roiled the world’s second-largest economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 277.26 points, or 0.94 per cent, to 29,102.51, the S&P 500 lost 18.07 points, or 0.54 per cent, to 3,327.71 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 51.64 points, or 0.54 per cent, to 9,520.51. Most S&P 500 sectors fell, with materials and technology the weakest performers. Fourth-quarter corporate reporting season is more than halfway done and overall S&P 500 earnings are expected to have climbed 2.3 per cent in the period, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.


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