NEW YORK, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks cut earlier loss but still closed lower Friday, as investors remained cautious after the market took a toll the previous day.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 69.93 points, or 0.42 percent, to 16,493.37. The S&P 500 declined 5.52 points, or 0.29 percent, to 1,925.15. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 17.13 points, or 0.39 percent, to 4,352.64.
All the three indices finished the week sharply lower. The Dow notched the biggest weekly loss in more than six months and the S& P 500 logged the largest weekly drop in over two years.
Despite goldilocks economic data rolling out in the day, the market still failed to regain steam, as investor sentiment continued to weaken from Thursday, when major indices fell about 2 percent.
Some analysts blamed a combination of factors for Thursday's market rout, citing European deflationary pressure, Argentina's debt default as well as negative sentiment, seasonality and momentum concerns in the U.S. market.
However, many traders believed the pullback is healthy since a significant correction is long overdue.
On the economic front, some 209,000 new jobs were added to the U.S. economy in July following an upwardly revised 298,000 gain the prior month, marking the sixth consecutive month of more than 200,000 job gains, the Labor Department said Friday. Meanwhile, unemployment rate was little changed at 6.2 percent in July from 6. 1 percent in June.
U.S. personal income and personal consumption expenditure both added 0.4 percent in June, the Labor Department said in a separate report. The data were in line with market consensus.
The Commerce Department reported Friday that U.S. construction spending in June unexpectedly fell, down 1.8 percent from the preceding month. The Reuters/University of Michigan's consumer sentiment for the United States came out at 81.8 in July, slight up from its preliminary reading of 81.3, but down from a final June reading of 82.5.
Besides, a pair of data indicated the U.S. manufacturing sector continued its robust improvement in July. Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in July for the 14th consecutive month, with the manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) registering 57.1, higher than June's reading and market forecast, said the Institute for Supply Management.
Financial data firm Markit reported that the final Markit U.S. Manufacturing PMI registered 55.8 in July, down from a 49-month high of 57.3 in June but well above the neutral 50, which signaled a robust improvement in overall business conditions across the manufacturing sector.
The CBOE Volatility Index, often referred to as Wall Street's fear gauge, ticked up 0.47 percent to end at 17.03 Friday.
In other markets, the U.S. dollar declined against most major currencies as weaker-than-expected nonfarm payroll report drove speculations that the Fed may keep the ultra low interest rates for longer.
In late New York trading, the euro rose to 1.3428 dollars from 1.3390 dollars of the previous session. The dollar bought 102.55 Japanese yen, lower than 102.84 yen of the previous session.
Crude prices continued to fall. Light, sweet crude for September delivery edged down 29 cents to settle at 97.88 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange bounced back.
The most active gold contract for December delivery rose 12 dollars, or 0.94 percent, to settle at 1,294.8 dollars per ounce.