Street Edges Lower as DJIA, S&P Torn Between Jobs Data and Ukraine Tensions

Michael Teague  |

Stocks closed slightly lower to end the week of trading on Friday, despite the Department of Labor’s jobs report showing the nation’s unemployment rate had dropped to 6.3 percent, well below the Fed’s originally-stated target of 6.5 percent.

The news comes as the central bank earlier this week reiterated its intent to keep interest rates near historic lows, despite last year’s contention that rates would be allowed to go back up in the event that the unemployment rate dropped below the 6.5 percent target threshold.

More pressure came in the form of geopolitics. While investors had become more or less inured to the Ukraine crisis, news through the previous evening seemed to indicate a serious escalation of tensions west of the Russian border, as the Kiev government lost two helicopters to rebel surface-to-air missiles during what was by many accounts a heated and open exchange of gunfire.

●     Standard & Poor’s 500: -0.13 percent to 1,881.14

●     NASDAQ: -0.09 percent to 4,123.90

●     Dow Jones Industrial Average: -0.28 percent to 16,512.89

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●     Student loan provider Sallie Mae (SLM) just announced the spin-off of its student loan segment into a standalone entity by the name of Navient ($NAVI).

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