US STOCKS-Wall St ends lower as jobs data may bring rate hike sooner

viernes 6 de marzo de 2015 17:29 GYT

* Feb U.S. payrolls growth tops expectations

* Apple to replace AT&T in Dow industrials

* Indexes off: Dow 1.54 pct, S&P 1.42 pct, Nasdaq 1.11 pct (Updates to close, adds comments)

By Sinead Carew

NEW YORK, March 6 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks closed lower on Friday and the S&P 500 declined for a second straight week after a strong monthly jobs report as investors bet that the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates sooner than previously expected.

Some of the worst-hit stocks were utilities and real estate investment trusts as they are high-yielding investments which would look less attractive after a rate hike.

The S&P and the Dow, which accelerated their declines as the day wore on, were under additional pressure because they had hit records earlier in the week after a strong February.

U.S. nonfarm payrolls rose 295,000 last month, topping estimates for a gain of 240,000, after a downwardly revised 239,000 increase in January. The unemployment rate fell to 5.5 percent from 5.7 percent in January.

The strong report, seen as a gauge for the timing of the Fed's first rate hike in years, may put pressure on the Fed to move soon, said Randy Frederick, managing director of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas.   Continuación...