Stocks Lost Ground for the Week

U.S. stocks fell more than 2% on Friday, their worst day in six months and lost ground for the week after a U.S. jobs report showed slim growth last month.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 274.88 points, or 2.22%, to 12,118.57. It’s down 2.7% for the week and 0.8% for the year. The S&P 500 lost 32.29 points, or 2.46%, to 1,278.04. The Nasdaq Composite lost 79.86 points, or 2.82%, to 2,747.48, down 3.2% for the week.

Gold surged 4 percent on Friday, its biggest one-day rise in more than three years, as a surprisingly weak U.S. payrolls report added to fears about a global economic slowdown and fuelled talk of further U.S. monetary easing. Gold rose 3.5 percent this week, its largest gain since late January.

The top U.S. auto makers continued driving toward recovery in May, posting double-digit sales growth with the help of brisk demand and somewhat looser consumer credit. Foreign companies also prospered, with Toyota Motor Corp. rebounding strongly form last year’s tsunami-related and Volkswagen AG doing the best it has in almost 40 years.

General Motors Co. will change the way it makes pension payments to white-collar retirees, cutting its underfunded U.S. pension obligation by $26 billion. The company announced on Friday that it will offer 42,000 retirees a lump-sum of cash to stop taking monthly benefits. For the rest of the 118,000 U.S. salaried retirees, GM will buy a group annuity that will make monthly payments starting in 2013. The Prudential Insurance Co. will handle the annuity and pay the benefits.

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