Stocks slip amid Ukraine instability, strong jobs report headline

|By:, SA News Editor

Stocks limped to slight losses to end the week, surrendering early gains that had pushed the Dow and S&P past their previous record closing levels, as rising unrest in Ukraine offset the better than expected April jobs report.

The situation in Ukraine appears to be deteriorating, as a Ukrainian government offensive reportedly killed several pro-Russia rebels, and separatists shot down two Ukrainian army helicopters.

The jobs report presented a more mixed picture than the headline jump in payrolls might have indicated: It’s too soon to tell if the jobs gain came from economic strength or just weather-related catch-up, and the result could cause investors to wonder when the Fed is going to start raising rates.

Utilities and health care led sector decliners, while materials and energy fared the best; the S&P 500 utilities sector tumbled 2%.

Bonds rallied, erasing early losses, with the 10-year Treasury yield shedding 3 bps to 2.589%; June gold futures surged $19.50, or 1.5%, to settle at $1,302.90/oz.