After an early rally on the better-than-expected jobs report, the market turned lower as a rebounding US dollar sent investors out of stocks and commodities.
The dollar rose sharply on news that US employers slashed 11,000 jobs from nonfarm payrolls in November, the smallest decline since the start of the recession in December 2007. But the rising currency took the steam out of stocks, which also had rallied on the employment report.
"We're almost back to normal," Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at Bank of Tokyo/Mistubishi UFJ, said after the jobs report. "The economy is lifting at a much greater rate than expected."
Adding to the upbeat economic news, factory orders rose an unexpected 0.6 percent in October. Economists had expected the gauge to be unchanged. Plus, September's reading was revised higher.
Alcoa , American Express and Boeing were the biggest gainers on the Dow in early trading.
Bank of America shares rose after the bank raised almost $19.3 billion in a stock offering late Thursday, which it plans to use to help pay back the $45 billion it owes the government in TARP funds.
That leaves Citigroup in the unfortunate position of being the last big bank tied to the government, the New York Times reported.
On the M&A front, NBC Universal will manage content across all its platformsafter the GE-Comcast deal is complete, NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker said on CNBC Friday.
Kraft made a $16.3 billion offer for CadburyFriday, triggering a takeover fight for the British chocolatier.