Stock market news live updates: Stocks fall as traders digest mixed November jobs report, Omicron updates

Stocks erased earlier gains to trade lower on Friday, as investors digested updates on the Omicron variant alongside the Labor Department's November jobs report, which came in mixed compared to Wall Street's elevated expectations.

The S&P 500, Dow and Nasdaq fell after opening in the green. The 10-year Treasury yield steadied near 1.45%.

Developments around the Omicron variant remained a focal point. So far at least five U.S. states have reported at least one case of the variant. The variant has also been found in more than three dozen countries globally, CNBC reported, citing the World Health Organization. The report also said the WHO has so far seen “a suggestion that there is increased transmissibility” of the Omicron variant, while noting it is still too soon to determine whether it is more or less transmissible than the Delta variant, or whether it causes more severe disease.

The market moves Friday also came following the release of the Labor Department's November jobs report, which showed a disappointing rate of hiring for the month even as the unemployment rate fell to a fresh pandemic-era low. Payroll gains came in at 210,000, or less than half the 550,000 consensus economists were expecting. The jobless rate fell to 4.2%, dipping more than anticipated from October's 4.6%.

The moves on Friday came in contrast to a rally on Thursday, when market participants initially shrugged off the discovery of multiple cases in the U.S.

“The markets … have been pricing in, really, a worst-case scenario,” Jim Smiegiel, SEI chief investment officer, told Yahoo Finance Live.

“I think the market is now switching gears a little bit and perhaps lessening the intensity on the potential for negative outcomes,” he added. “The big issue still remains more about the world government's reaction to the variant and what that means from a lockdown perspective. And that's what the market is still kind of struggling with at this stage.”

Others have struck an even more optimistic tone, suggesting the economic impact of the Omicron variant will ultimately prove less drastic than initially feared.

“If you look back at Delta, there really wasn't a meaningful impact in terms of actual consumption … maybe we saw a little bit of a shift away from services in the early stages of the reopen back towards goods, but overall consumption held up just fine,” Garrett Melson, Natixis Investment Managers Solutions portfolio strategist, told Yahoo Finance Live on Thursday.

“And on the capex front, we still see signs that companies are saying they're going to invest in their businesses and they're doing just that,” Melson added. “Lockdowns are certainly not happening here in the U.S. There's no appetite from the government and certainly no appetite from consumers.”

10:47 a.m. ET: Stocks trade lower as tech lags

The three major stock indexes traded in the red after opening in positive territory, with investors continuing to mull the latest headlines on the Omicron variant and the November jobs report.

The information technology and consumer discretionary sectors underperformed in the S&P 500, while consumer staples was the only sector in the green.

Salesforce.com, Boeing and Microsoft lagged in the Dow, contributing to the more than 200-point drop in the index. The Nasdaq dropped more than 2% amid the drawdown in heavily weighted technology names.

10:15 a.m. ET: Docusign shares post biggest-ever drop after 3Q billings, guidance miss

Shares of software company Docusign (DOCU) slid on Friday after posting disappointing third-quarter billings results and current-quarter guidance, suggesting business activity was returning to more “normalized” levels after a pandemic-induced surge.

Shares were down more than 40% as of morning trading. Late Thursday, the e-signature company reported third-quarter billings growth of 28%, marking a major slowdown from the previous 61% growth seen in the second quarter. Billings are a closely watched metric for software companies with recurring revenue subscription models.

“After six quarters of accelerated growth, we saw customers return to more normalized buying patters, resulting in a 28% year-over-year billings growth,” Dan Springer, CEO of Docusign, said in the company's earning's statement.

And for the current quarter, Docusign sees revenue coming in between $557 million and $563 million, missing Wall Street's estimates for $574.2 million.

9:31 a.m. ET: Stocks open higher after mixed jobs report

Here's where markets were trading shortly after the opening bell:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): +23.48 (+0.51%) to 4,600.58

  • Dow (^DJI): +125.06 (+0.36%) to 34,746.85

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): +89.04 (+0.58%) to 15,466.81

  • Crude (CL=F): +$2.39 (+3.59%) to $68.89 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): +$8.90 (+0.50%) to $1,771.60 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): +1.1 bps to yield 1.46%

9:20 a.m. ET: November jobs report comes in mixed, with payrolls disappointing while unemployment rate falls to pandemic-era low

The November jobs report offered a mixed bag for investors to digest, as non-farm payroll growth came in sharply short of consensus expectations while the unemployment and labor force participation rates topped estimates.

Non-farm payrolls grew by 210,000 in November following a revised 546,000 in October. This was well short of the 550,000 jobs expected. The unemployment rate improved to 4.2% from October's 4.6%, and reached it lowest level since February 2020.

The labor force participation rate also ticked up slightly more than anticipated in November to reach 61.8%, versus the 61.7% consensus economists were expecting and the 61.6% posted in October. The labor force participation rate had been 63.3% in February 2020 before the pandemic meaningfully impacted the job market.

Still, as of November, the civilian labor force was still down by about 2.4 million participants, compared to February 2020.

7:23 a.m. ET Friday: Stock futures drift sideways ahead of jobs report

Here were the main moves in markets as the overnight session kicked off:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): +0.25 points (+0.01%), to 4,576.00

  • Dow futures (YM=F): +11 points (+0.03%), to 34,633.00

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): -1 points (-0.01%) to 15,987.50

  • Crude (CL=F): +$1.89 (+2.84%) to $68.39 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): +$10.80 (+0.61%) to $1,773.50 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): -1.8 bps to yield 1.432%

6:31 p.m. ET Thursday: Stock futures jump ahead of jobs report

Here were the main moves in markets during the overnight session:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): +11.5 points (+0.25%), to 4,587.25

  • Dow futures (YM=F): +94 points (+0.27%), to 34,716.00

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): +34.50 points (+0.22%) to 16,023.00

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – AUGUST 10: People walk by the Wall Street Bull near the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on August 10, 2021 in New York City. Markets were up in morning trading as investors look to a rare bipartisan effort in the Senate to pass a massive infrastructure bill that, if passed, will infuse billions into the American economy. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Emily McCormick is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter

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