The major averages closed in the red in volatile trading on Friday after President Donald Trump's coronavirus diagnosis fueled concerns about the election and a worsening pandemic. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 134 points, or 0.5%, lower at 27,682 after dropping 430 points at its session low. The S&P 500 slid 1%, or 32 points, to 3,248 after falling as much as 1.7%. The Nasdaq Composite declined 2.2%, or 251 points, to 11,075.
The major averages clawed back some of the steep losses after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signaled aid for the airline industry could be coming soon, perhaps even as part of a much-anticipated broad relief bill.
Shares of airlines jumped higher in unison after Pelosi called on the industry to delay furloughs, saying relief for airline workers is "imminent." American Airlines and United erased earlier losses and popped 3.3% and 2.4%, respectively.
Still, the president's diagnosis added more uncertainty to the election, an event that was already weighing on the market and keeping traders on edge as they attempted to evaluate the possible outcomes. It also raised concerns about a second wave of the virus and a slower reopening.
Technology shares led the declines on Friday with Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook all losing more than 2.5%. Tech stocks could come under pressure under a Democratic sweep scenario if it leads to higher tax rates and tighter regulations, many strategists have said. Investors also could rotate out of technology shares and into more cyclical stocks if a stimulus is passed.
Also weighing on the sentiment was a worse-than-expected September jobs report. Nonfarm payroll rose by 661,000 in September, the Labor Department said Friday in the final jobs report before the November election. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones expected a jobs gain of 800,000. The unemployment rate fell to 7.9% last month.
Despite Friday's weakness, major averages all posted modest gains for the week. The 30-stock Dow gained 1.9%, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq rose 1.5% each this week.
Longer-dated Treasuries moved higher following the report but pulled back into negative territory during the day. The 2-yr yield was flat at 0.13%, and the 10-yr yield increased two basis points to 0.70% after touching 0.65% at its low. The U.S. Dollar Index increased 0.1% to 93.84.
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