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Stock Market News for November 07, 2016

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The S&P 500 suffered losses for the ninth straight session on Friday, the first time the index has done so since 1980. The Dow and the Nasdaq also ended in negative territory as investors fretted over the election’s results. Such concerns compelled them to remain on the sidelines or park investments in risk-averse assets such as gold and short-term duration bonds. For the week, all the major indexes also finished in the red.

For a look at the issues currently facing the markets, make sure to read today’s Ahead of Wall Street article.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) decreased 0.2%, to close at 17,888.28. The S&P 500 has fallen 3.48 points or 0.2% to close at 2,085.18, putting its nine-straight session decline at 3.1%. This marked its longest nine day losing streak since Dec 11, 1980.  The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 5,046.37, losing 0.2%.

The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) surged 12.1% to settle at 19.40. The VIX often referred to as “investor fear gauge” has soared 22.5% during the past nine sessions to 22.5, above its 10-year average of about 21. This is the first time that the VIX has surged for nine consecutive days in a row in 27 years.

A total of around 3.8 billion shares were traded on Friday on the NYSE. Advancers outpaced declining stocks on the NYSE. For 49% stocks that advanced, 47% declined.

Election Inspired Market Volatility

Political uncertainty is currently at its peak, thanks to the elections. FBI Director James Comey told lawmakers on Sunday that there are no charges against Hillary Clinton after the new email review. Clinton was being investigated on her use of a private server and handling of classified information while she was the state secretary. While the Clinton campaign said that they were “glad” that the lingering concern has been resolved, Trump cried foul (read more: Portfolio Strategy for 2016 Presidential Election).

FBI’s probe into the uncovered emails by Clinton had earlier narrowed her chances of winning the race to the White House. The latest opinion polls on Sunday, before news broke of the FBI announcement, gave Clinton a meager four to five-point lead over Republican candidate Donald Trump.

Upbeat Jobs Data

The U.S. economy also added 161,000 jobs in October, while the unemployment rate fell to 4.9% from 5%, reflecting tighter labor market conditions. The jobless rate remained near an eight-year low. Healthcare companies, professional and business services, and financial firms led the way in job creation.

Hiring has improved considerably in the prior two months, which showed that the economy has plenty of room left. Improvement in employment opportunities will lead to an uptick in spending levels. Thanks to Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday holidays this month, consumers are expected to stretch their wallet a little (read more: All About October Jobs: +161K, Plus Upward Revisions).

Markets End Week Lower

For the week, the Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq declined 1.5%, 1.9% and 2.8%, respectively. While uncertainty over the upcoming presidential election dragged the major indexes lower, the Federal Reserve’s indication that it may hike rates in December weighed on investors’ sentiment. Facebook, Inc.’s (FB - Free Report) warning that it’s potential for ad revenues will start slowing soon also adversely impacted investors’ confidence. Facebook possess a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Stocks That Made Headlines

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