After a wildly volatile trading session, U.S. stocks managed to end flat on Friday, following the monthly government jobs report and amid ongoing jitters over Syria. Still, the Dow snapped a four-week losing streak.
Stocks initially opened higher following the nonfarm payrolls report, but quickly tumbled near session lows after Dow Jones quoted Russian President Vladimir Putin as saying that Russia would continue arms sales and aid to Syria, even in the event of an external attack. Major averages eventually rebounded, with the Dow hitting 15,000, as President Barack Obama eased immediate fears over Syria in his latest press conference from the G20 meeting.
However, the rally eventually faded in the final hour of trading. Overall, the Dow fluctuated in a wide 220-point range.
"I think what you've got here is two weeks' worth of Syria talk that has given the markets a reason to pullback and consolidate what's been a really good year, but the year is not over," said James Lebenthal, president of Lebenthal Asset Management. "Syria will be done with in a couple of weeks. There's no way that Russia and the U.S. are going to war over Syria. That's crazy talk. It's not going to happen."
In turn, Lebenthal said market declines have set up investors to get fully invested. He likes cyclical stocks, but didn't name any in particular.