Exchange traded funds (ETFs) closed out a fifth week of losses with more selling on Friday after Bank of America and American Express led financial ETFs lower, offsetting a positive Institute for Supply Management report.
Financial stocks ended lower with the broader market late Friday, as investors fretted over yet another disappointing jobs report. The four financial stocks listed in the Dow Jones Industrial Average — Travelers Cos. (NYSE: TRV) , Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC), J.P. Morgan Chase (NYSE: JPM), and American Express Co.’s (NYSE: AXP) all ended flat on Friday. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, meanwhile, managed to break from the downward trend. Shares of Goldman (NYSE: GS ) were up 1%, after dropping the previous session on reports it had been subpoenaed as part of a government probe. The Financial Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLF) exchange-traded fund, which tracks the financial stocks listed in the S&P 500 , was off 0.7%, down 2.8% for the week.
The U.S. services sector grew at slightly faster pace in May compared to the prior month, according to a survey of senior executives. The Institute for Supply Management on Friday said its services index rose to 54.6% last month from 52.8% in April. Readings over 50% indicate more firms are expanding than contracting. The increase in the ISM’s service index bucked the prevailing trend in economic data. Most indicators have turned lower over the past month. The positive ISM report did nothing to alter the sour mood of investors. U.S. stocks fell sharply Friday after the monthly employment report for May showed that the economy added a scant 54,000 jobs. The Healthcare Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSEArca: XLV) ended down almost 1% on Friday.
Crude-oil futures closed lower as disappointing employment data fueled concerns about the U.S. economy and energy demand, but a weaker dollar supported prices. Add to that the surprise increase in weekly crude supplies reported by the Energy Information Administration on Thursday. Oil started with moderate losses after a survey showed the U.S. service sector accelerated slightly in May. A weaker dollar is beneficial to oil and other dollar-denominated commodities as it makes them cheaper to holders of other currencies, broadening their investment appeal. Analysts at MF Global said they believe energy markets will focus on a June 8 meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, “where mixed signals are being sent as to what the cartel will do.” The Oil Services HOLDRs (AMEX: OIH) closed moderately higher today.
The dollar extended losses against the euro Friday after more details about a new aid package for Greece came to light, increasing confidence in European policy makers’ ability to handle the sovereign-debt crisis. The greenback came under pressure early in the session after a government report showed the U.S. economy added far fewer jobs in May than economists expected, adding to concerns that the recovery is weakening. The euro rose to $1.4636, near the highest in at least three weeks and up from $1.4484 late Thursday. The dollar index has fallen 1.6% from last Friday and against the yen, the dollar is 0.6% lower. The Rydex CurrencyShares Euro Trust ETF (NYSEArca: FXE) gained almost 1% on Friday.
Gregory A. Clay contributed to this article
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