Major US indices were down on Friday after unemployment rates weighed down on the market, with the Dow down 21 points, the S&P 500 decliniong 4 points and the Nasdaq falling 5 points. Still markets ended the week higher with the Dow and the S&P 500 up 1.8% and the Nasdaq advancing 1.5%.
The much-awaited jobs report was released by the government on Friday, showing 131,000 jobs were lost in July. The loss of jobs was mainly attributed to many temporary government workers leaving their posts, and a cut back in state and local government workforces. However, the report showed that private employers added 71,000 jobs. The government reported 83,000 private jobs were created in June. The jobless rate remained at a steady 9.5%.
In corporate news, AIG announced a quarterly net loss of $2.7 billion as a result of the sales of some of its divisions and its restructuring following its huge losses. Profit was up to $1.3 billion, or $1.99 per share up from $1.1 billion, or $1.71 per share, a year earlier. The company used to be the world’s largest insurer and nearly collapsed in September 2008 from credit default swaps. Its now nearly 80% owned by the US government and has said that it began talks on an exit strategy. The stock ended up over 2.5% for the day.