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US: Friday data catches up with the market

 Natalya Malykh, Leading Analyst, Global Markets (Finam)

On Monday, April 9, US equity benchmarks closed lower in response to Friday’s anemic non-farm payrolls report. As the US Labor Department reported, in March unemployment unexpectedly fell to 8.2% from 8.3%, but businesses added only 120,000 jobs, while an increase of 203,000 had been forecast. Labor market stats turned out to be a good reason for profit-taking after an extended rally, with selling seen in all sectors of the economy, and banks and manufactures coming under the heaviest pressure.

By the closing bell, the blue-chip benchmark Dow eased 1% to 12,929.59, the broader market index S&P 500 lost 1.14% to 1,382.20 and technology-heavy Nasdaq shed 1.09% to settle at 3,047.08.

Blue-chip names ended lower, except Hewlett-Packard (+0.13%) and McDonalds (+0.26%), with Bank of America, Walt Disney and Caterpillar giving up over 2%.

Selling was seen in all sectors of the Dow, with the heaviest pressure coming from the financial and industrial sectors. Capital One Financial and Citigroup gave up 2.53% and 2.36%, respectively, while SunTrust Banks shares sank 3.24% by the final bell.

Shares of Internet company AOL rallied 43.32% on news the company plans to sell its 800 patents to Microsoft for over USD 1 bn in cash.

Shares of software developer ClickSoftware Technologies dove 16% after management’s Q1 sales guidance drastically missed expectations (USD 21.6 mn vs. USD 23.4 mn).

Waterpark operator Great Wolf Resorts gained 13.07% on news the company received a takeover offer of USD 234 mn, or USD 7.00 a share, from KSL Capital Partners LLC.

In commodities, NYMEX light, sweet crude for May delivery dropped 85 cents or 0.8% to USD 102.46/bbl. Crude futures dropped to the lowest final level since mid-February due to a pullback on American stock and commodities markets under the influence of disappointing US jobs data.

COMEX gold futures for April delivery rose USD 14.00, or 0.9%, to USD 1,642.50/oz. Gold gained as the dollar traded lower against a basket of global currencies.