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US STOCKS-Wall St dragged down by energy stocks, weak jobs data
October 6, 2017 / 4:47 PM / in a month

US STOCKS-Wall St dragged down by energy stocks, weak jobs data

* Nasdaq reverses course after touching record high

* Oil prices down 3 pct, set to end multi-week bull run

* Costco biggest drag on S&P, Nasdaq after margins fall

* Indexes down: Dow 0.16 pct, S&P 0.31 pct, Nasdaq 0.12 pct (Updates to early afternoon)

By Yashaswini Swamynathan and Gayathree Ganesan

Oct 6 (Reuters) - Wall Street was lower on Friday as energy shares dropped sharply and added to the dour mood set by the first decline in U.S. nonfarm jobs in seven years.

The Labor Department’s closely watched employment report showed nonfarm payrolls fell by 33,000 in September as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma left displaced workers temporarily unemployed and delayed hiring.

However, a bright spot was the better-than-expected rise in average wages, up 0.5 percent, compared with a 0.3 percent increase estimated by economists polled by Thomson Reuters.

The gain was the largest since December 2016, helping lift the dollar to a 12-week high.

“I think most people realized going in that the headline numbers would be distorted because of the storms, but the surprise was the average hourly earnings,” said Win Thin, global head of emerging markets currency strategy, Brown Brothers Harriman in New York.

S&P energy index declined about 1 percent as oil prices looked set to end a five-week bull run amid a bout of profit taking and the return of oversupply worries.

Adding to the worries, producers were evacuating their Gulf of Mexico offshore platforms ahead of Tropical Storm Nate, the second storm in as many months to threaten Gulf Coast oil and refining facilities.

At 12:22 p.m. ET (1622 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 36.37 points, or 0.16 percent, at 22,739.02.

The S&P 500 was down 7.95 points, or 0.31 percent, at 2,544.12. At these levels, the index will end an eight-day gaining streak.

The Nasdaq Composite was down 7.98 points, or 0.12 percent, at 6,577.37 after hitting its sixth-straight record high.

The S&P 500 had marked its sixth straight record closing high on Thursday, in large part due to gains in the technology index. However, on Friday the index fell 0.2 percent, dragged down by losses in Apple and Microsoft.

Shares of Costco dropped to their lowest in nearly a month after the warehouse club retailer reported a fall in gross margins. The stock was the biggest drag on the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 2,029 to 799. On the Nasdaq, 1,715 issues fell and 1,081 advanced. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan and Gayathree Ganesan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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