U.S. stocks fell last week as the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index posted its biggest monthly decline in more than a year and a report showing employment stagnated in August fueled concern that the economy may slip into a recession.
Bank of America and J.P. Morgan Chase lost at least 4.4 percent for the week as the Federal Housing Finance Agency sued lenders over residential mortgage-backed securities. AT&T declined 3.4 percent after the U.S. government sued to prevent its planned purchase of T-Mobile USA. First Solar dropped 11 percent after the International Energy Agency said the price of solar power may fall.
The S&P 500 fell 0.2 percent to 1,173.97 last week as a 2.5 percent slide on Friday wiped out gains from earlier in the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 44.28 points, or 0.4 percent, to 11,240.26. Both gauges posted their biggest monthly losses since May 2010.
“There’s a lot of emotion in the market,” William Fries, the Santa Fe, N.M.-based manager of the $26 billion Thornburg International Value Fund, said in a telephone interview.
Last week’s retreat was triggered by government data showing U.S. payrolls were unchanged in August, the weakest reading since September 2010. The median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey called for an increase of 68,000. Hourly earnings and hours worked both declined. The August data included a 48,000 drop in information industry jobs, mostly reflecting striking Verizon workers.
The Treasury will sell $29 billion in three-month bills and $27 billion in six-month bills on Tuesday. They yielded 0.035 percent and 0.065 percent, respectively, in when-issued trading.