NEW YORK — Suppliers of basic materials are leading Wall Street broadly lower in early trading Friday after a solid U.S. report on hiring last month. Earnings reports and guidance from companies were mixed. The British pound continued to fall, plunging in a “flash crash” before trimming most of its losses.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average fell 16 points, or 0.1 percent, to 18,252 as of 10:13 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index dropped 3 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,158. The Nasdaq composite fell 4 points, or 0.1 percent, to 5,303.
JOBS PICTURE: U.S. employers added 156,000 jobs last month, a decent gain but slightly below market expectations. Jobs growth has averaged 178,000 a month so far this year, down from last year’s pace of 229,000. The figures may keep the Federal Reserve on track to raise the short-term interest rate it controls by December.
ANALYST TAKE: “September’s number is still strong and adds to this week’s raft of positive U.S. data,” said Paul Sirani, chief market analyst at Xtrade. “The world’s largest economy looks to be sailing full steam ahead to a rate hike before the end of the year.”
POUND POUNDED: The British pound fell 6 percent in what’s being dubbed a “flash crash” to its lowest level in more than three decades, then rebounded. The reasons for the fall were unclear. The currency was trading at $1.24 from $1.26 on Thursday.
LOWER GUIDANCE: Honeywell International plunged $9.35, or 8 percent, to $106.36 after lowering its estimates for third quarter results.
SHOPPING SPREE: Gap jumped $3.79, or 17 percent, to $26.57 after reporting September sales results that showed growth at its Old Navy chain.
FOOD TROUBLE: Ruby Tuesday fell 34 cents, or 16 percent, to $2.17 after the restaurant chain late Thursday reported a loss in its fiscal first quarter.
EUROPE’S DAY: Germany’s DAX was down 0.6 percent while the CAC-40 in France fell 0.6 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 bucked the trend, rising 0.7 percent in the wake of the pound’s latest decline. A lower currency potentially makes British exports more competitive as well as boosting the value of foreign earnings when brought back to the U.K.
ENERGY: U.S. benchmark crude fell 14 cents at $50.30 a barrel while the international standard, Brent, fell 21 cents to 52.30 a barrel.
BONDS AND CURRENCIES: Prices of U.S. government bonds rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.73 percent. The euro was unchanged at $1.1187 while the dollar rose 0.8 percent to 103.08 yen.