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U.S. Stocks Regain Ground After Seeing Initial Weakness

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After coming under pressure early in the session, stocks have regained ground over the course of the trading day on Friday. The major averages have climbed off their worst levels of the day but remain in negative territory.

Currently, the Dow is down 145.32 points or 0.5 percent at 29,234.45, the Nasdaq is down 4.09 points or less than a tenth of a percent at 9,568.06 and the S&P 500 is down 5.10 points or 0.2 percent at 3,340.68.

Profit taking contributed to the early weakness on Wall Street, as some traders looked to cash in on the strong upward move seen in recent days.

Lingering concerns about the coronavirus re-emerged after traders shrugged off the worries about the outbreak to drive stocks higher.

Selling pressure was somewhat subdued, however, as the Labor Department released a report showing stronger than expected job growth in the month of January.

The Labor Department said employment jumped by 225,000 jobs in January following a revised increase of 147,000 jobs in December.

Economists had expected employment to rise by 160,000 jobs compared to the addition of 145,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

Despite the stronger than expected job growth, the unemployment rate inched up to 3.6 percent in January from 3.5 percent in December. Economists had expected the employment rate to remain unchanged.

Networking stocks are turning in some of the market's worst performances, while weakness is also visible among gold, steel and computer hardware stocks.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Friday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index edged down by 0.2 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell by 0.3 percent.

The major European markets have also moved to the downside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index has dipped by 0.3 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index and the German DAX Index are both down by 0.5 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have moved higher after ending the previous session nearly unchanged. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 5.2 basis points at 1.592 percent.

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