camila December 4, 2021

NEW YORK (AFP) – The Nasdaq led Wall Street lower on Friday (Dec 3) as stocks concluded a losing week on a downcast note following disappointing results from tech highflyer DocuSign and lacklustre US jobs growth.

Investors shunned highly valued tech shares after DocuSign offered a disappointing outlook and signalled that demand for its e-signature business was ebbing after a strong run during the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Shares of the company plunged more than 40 per cent, while other tech names like Adobe and several chipmakers were also hammered.

“The growth stocks are driving the declines,” said analyst Patrick O’Hare, who also cited lingering unease over the Omicron variant of Covid-19 and disappointment that Thursday’s rally in equities was not extended.

The Nasdaq ended the day down 1.9 per cent at 15,085.47.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.2 per cent to 34,580.08, while the broad-based S&P 500 shed 0.8 per cent to close the week 1.2 per cent lower.

Friday’s much-anticipated jobs report showed the US economy added just 210,000 jobs, less than half the increase forecasters expected.

But analysts characterised the report as better than the headline figure, noting the unemployment rate dropped to 4.2 per cent, a decline of four-tenths of a point from the prior month. The labour force participation rate also rose to its highest level since the pandemic.

“Looking past the disappointing headline print, the details of the November jobs report painted a more optimistic jobs picture,” Oxford Economics said in a note.

US-traded Chinese stocks fell sharply after American regulators adopted a rule allowing them to delist foreign companies from Wall Street exchanges if they fail to provide information to regulators.

Shares of Alibaba plunged 8.3 per cent, while Baidu lost 7.8 per cent. Didi Global, which announced plans to delist its New York shares, dove 22.2 per cent.