NEW YORK – U.S. stocks fell Friday, with the Dow posting its longest losing streak in more than a year, as jobs data showing strength in the economy raised worries the Federal Reserve may need to resume raising interest rates.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 32.50 points, or 0.27 percent, to end at 11,986.04. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index slipped 3.04 points, or 0.22 percent, to finish at 1,364.30. The Nasdaq Composite Index declined 3.23 points, or 0.14 percent, to close at 2,330.79.
For the week, the Dow slid 0.9 percent and the S&P 500 fell nearly 1 percent. The Nasdaq dropped 0.8 percent.
The Dow closed below 12,000 for the first time since Oct. 18.
Consumer-oriented stocks such as McDonald's Corp. (MCD) and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) slipped.
Labor Department data showed the U.S. unemployment rate fell to its lowest in more than five years. While the economy added fewer jobs in October than economists had expected, August and September payrolls were revised significantly higher.
A jump in oil prices contributed to negative sentiment.
"Some investors were hanging on the idea that the Fed would cut rates soon, which would give an extra boost to stocks. But that possibility no longer seems to be sustainable," said Michael Metz, chief investment officer of Oppenheimer & Co. in New York.
U.S. crude oil for December delivery rose $1.26 to settle at $59.14 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after the U.S. consulate in Lagos warned a militant group in Nigeria may have imminent plans to launch attacks on oil facilities.
The rise in crude prices helped some energy stocks, including Exxon Mobil (XOM) Corp. A Dow component, Exxon Mobil rose 1.4 percent, or 96 cents, to $72.15 on the New York Stock Exchange.
The biggest drag on the Dow was McDonald's, down 1.9 percent, or 81 cents, to $41.24 on the NYSE. The fast-food restaurant chain's customers include senior citizens and others on fixed incomes, who are particularly sensitive to rising energy costs and interest rates.
Shares of Wal-Mart, the world's biggest retailer, fell after it lowered prices on nearly 100 key electronics items such as plasma televisions for the holiday season.
The stock dropped 1.6 percent, or 76 cents, to $47.53, marking its worst weekly percentage loss in more than four years. Wal-Mart was the second-heaviest weight on the Dow and also ranked among the S&P 500's biggest losers.
Wal-Mart's move to slash prices pressured stocks of specialty electronic chains Best Buy Co. Inc. and Circuit City Stores Inc. (CC). Best Buy (BBY) sagged 1 percent, or 55 cents, to $52.43, while Circuit City's shares slipped 0.6 percent, or 16 cents, to $25.95, both in NYSE trading.
Whole Foods Market Inc. (WFMI) shares had their biggest decline in nearly eight years, a day after the No. 1 natural and organic grocer said sales growth would slow in fiscal 2007.
The stock was the biggest drag on the Nasdaq and among the top drags on the S&P 500 index. Whole Foods stock plunged 23.1 percent, or $13.86,to $46.26.
Trading volume on the NYSE was lighter than in the previous sessions this week. On Friday, about 1.52 billion shares changed hands on the Big Board, below last year's daily average of 1.61 billion. On the Nasdaq, about 1.89 billion shares traded, slightly above last year's daily average of 1.80 billion.
Decliners outpaced advancers on the Big Board by a ratio of about 6 to 5. On the Nasdaq, though, about eight stocks rose for every six that fell.