By Douglas Holtz-Eakin
The young drop coverage to avoid higher premiums
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
A mixed report about the housing market and unrest in Europe on Wednesday extended the longest losing streak for the Standard & Poor's 500 index since mid-July. Other risky assets, like European stocks and oil, fell more sharply.
Alarmed by an ominously weak U.S. jobs report, investors ran for safety Friday from new worries about a global slowdown, sending the Dow Jones industrial average to its biggest loss since November.
When jobs fall, the stock market follows.
Stocks closed higher Friday after a quiet, pre-holiday session that turned the S&P 500 index positive for the year.
"The market has been very susceptible to 'fiscal cliff' headlines," said Todd Salamone, a senior vice president at Schaeffers Investment Research, adding that stocks have rallied more on good news than they have fallen on indications that talks were stalling. "It seems the expectation is that something will get done, but it's a very cautious expectation. There's a lot of money on the sidelines."