U.S. stocks closed slightly lower Friday, as gains in utilities offset declines in financials after a sharp miss on the May jobs report.
The major averages came well off session lows to close slightly lower on the day and narrowly mixed for the week. The Dow Jones industrial average closed about 31 points lower after earlier falling 148 points with Goldman Sachs contributing the most to declines.
Utilities closed 1.66 percent higher to lead S&P 500 advancers, while financials ended nearly 1.4 percent lower as the greatest laggard. The Bank and Regional Banking ETFs pared losses to close about 2.1 percent and 1.9 percent lower, respectively.
"Positioning is still playing a big role. The positioning coming into the day was the economy's strong and the Fed will hike ... and today's action is just an unwind of that," said Ilya Feygin, managing director and senior strategist at WallachBeth Capital.
He also noted some support for the S&P 500 around 2,084/2,085 and the weaker U.S. dollar.
Traders also attributed some of the recovery to short-covering.
The S&P 500 briefly topped the psychologically key 2,100 level intraday but closed a touch below and little changed on the week.
"I do think sooner or later bad news does become bad news and the only reason why they're taking us back to 2,100 on the SPX is the odds of a July hike have dropped and the Fed's going to hold off," said John Caruso, senior market strategist at RJO Futures.
"That confirms there is a deceleration in the private sector, in the services sector that is more than manufacturing or mining and energy," said Gene Tannuzzo, senior portfolio manager at Columbia Threadneedle's Strategic Income Fund.