6 Sep 2008

US share market ends week with modest gains

9:53 am on 6 September 2008

The broader US stock market ended its worst week since May with modest gains on Friday, as a rally in financial stocks helped the market reverse earlier steep losses.

A Labor Department report had shown a further deterioration in the labour market, with 84,000 jobs lost in August, compared with the 75,000 economists had expected. June and July job losses were also revised up.

It added to worries about consumer spending and compounded fears of a worsening global economic slowdown. Those fears had battered stocks all week, leaving the S&P 500 with its worst five-day performance since May.

But financial shares rebounded, helping the Dow and the S&P 500 rise. Lehman Brothers rose 6.8% to $16.20 after sources familiar with the situation said Blackstone Group LP and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co are each looking to buy parts of Lehman's real estate and asset management units.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 32.73 points, or 0.29%, to 11,220.96, but ended down 2.8% on the week.

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index climbed 5.48 points, or 0.44%, to 1,242.31, ending down 3.2% on the week.

The Nasdaq lagged the other indexes in Friday's session and had its worst week since January, led lower by big-cap technology shares. Analysts say technology is among sectors most vulnerable to a global slowdown due to its exposure to overseas markets

The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 3.16 points, or 0.14%, to 2,255.88, ending the week 4.7% lower.