US shares fluctuated, after previously going up to set the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index higher than its closing record, even as US employment data showed that payrolls advanced in April and the United Nations Security Council planned to meet urgently over Ukraine.
The S&P 500 plunged 0.1% to 1,883.56 as of 11:11 am in New York, after ascending 0.4% to hit above its highest closing point reached April 2. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 13.06 or 0.1%, down to 16,545.81.
“On a Friday, people are going to be more inclined to be less long going into a weekend with potential military action happening in the Ukraine. People don’t want to walk in Monday morning and be negatively surprised by a down market because of military action in Europe, so they’re selling off,” Michael James of Wedbush Securities Inc. told Bloomberg by phone.
Tension in Ukraine intensified as the country committed armored vehicles and artillery to recapture Slovyansk, which is under the siege of pro-separatist forces, against President Vlamidir Putin’s demand to withdraw troops as Russia massed its army across the border.
Interior Ministry forces were sent at 4:30 a.m local time to fight the militants and free hostages, among them eight international monitors, according to minister Avakov. The defense ministry said militants downed two helicopters, killing two pilots.
Stocks were up earlier after jobs data indicated that more people got employed in April, the highest increase in two years, and the unemployment rate lost 6.3% as firms were upbeat that the US economy is rebounding from a slowdown in the first three months of 2014.
Nonfarm positions added 288,000 last month, data from the Labor Department showed on Friday. As Reuters reports, that was the largest growth since January 2012 and surpassed analysts’ estimates for a gain of 210,000.
US Treasury yields advanced on the data.
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