Roundup: U.S. stocks end lower ahead of jobs report

December 1, 2015 11:11 am 

NEW YORK, Dec. 1 — U.S. stocks ticked down Monday, the last trading day for November, as investors awaited a key jobs report released later this week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 78.57 points, or 0.44 percent, to 17,719.92. The S&P 500 lost 9.70 points, or 0.46 percent, to 2,080.41. The Nasdaq Composite Index dipped 18.86 points, or 0.37 percent, to 5,108.67.

With no major economic data due out Monday, investors were looking to Friday's November employment data. This is the last jobs report for the year and has a sway over the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision on its interest rates at its Dec. meeting.

On Thursday, the European Central Bank (ECB) is expected to expand its monetary easing program and cut its negative deposit rate further.

"This is a huge week. The ECB has dropped hints suggesting it will cut interest rates at its policy meeting Thursday, while Friday's November employment report could ice the Fed's decision to raise interest rates in two weeks," said Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial.

European equities closed mixed Monday as investors eyed the ECB's policy meeting. Germany's benchmark DAX index at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange increased 0.78 percent, while British benchmark FTSE 100 Index decreased 0.30 percent.

Also on Monday, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that China's currency renminbi (RMB) is eligible for joining the Special Drawing Rights (SDR) basket as an international reserve currency.

It brings the RMB, or the yuan, into an exclusive group of currencies that make up the IMF's own reserve basket, which is currently comprised of the U.S. dollar, the euro, the British pound and the Japanese yen.

Analysts said such move would elevate the RMB and China's influence on the global economy.

Chinese stocks reversed a sharp early fall to end mildly higher Monday, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index going up 0.26 percent to close at 3,445.41 points.

The CBOE Volatility Index, often referred to as Wall Street's fear gauge, increased 6.68 percent to end at 16.13 on Monday.

In other markets, oil prices dropped ahead of the OPEC gathering that is expected to maintain the production quota.

The U.S. dollar traded mixed against other major currencies as the Fed was on track for an interest-rate hike this year while its European counterparts were expected to unleash further stimulus.

Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose on a technical trading bounce, despite a stronger U. S. dollar.

The most active gold contract for February delivery added 9.1 dollars, or 0.86 percent, to settle at 1,065.30 dollars per ounce. (PNA/Xinhua)

FFC/LOR/EBP

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