NEW YORK – U.S. stocks fell, with equities posting their biggest weekly decline since March, as investors looked toward a weekend referendum in Greece after jobs data reflected a more moderate pace of economic growth.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index retreated less than 0.1 percent to 2,076.78 at 4 p.m. in New York, and marked a second consecutive weekly slide. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 27.80 points, or 0.2 percent, to 17,730.11. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 0.1 percent, while the Russell 2000 index dropped 0.7 percent. The U.S. market is closed Friday for a holiday.
"You would think that the jobs report would have made the market rally, but it's kind of fallen into the abyss of Greece," said Michael Antonelli, an institutional equity sales trader and managing director at Robert W. Baird & Co. "The market can't and won't find its footing until the vote. Every rally and sell-off are ultimately noise until that happens."
A Labor Department report Thursday showed the addition of 223,000 jobs in June followed a 254,000 increase in the prior month that was less than previously estimated.
The economy has just completed its sixth year of expansion since the recession ended in June 2009. While the job market has rebounded, faster wage growth has been slow to follow suit. The participation rate, which indicates the share of the working-age people in the labor force, decreased to 62.6 percent, the lowest since October 1977, from 62.9 percent.
A separate report Thursday showed factory orders in May slipped more than forecast, down 1 percent compared with economists' estimated 0.5 percent decline.
The Federal Reserve is scrutinizing incoming data for signs the world's largest economy can withstand the first interest-rate increase since 2006. Recent reports on housing, consumer spending and sentiment have helped support policymakers' expectation that early year weakness was temporary, and growth will be sturdy enough for higher rates.
Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen has said she expects the central bank to raise borrowing costs this year, and that subsequent increases will be gradual.
The S&P 500 halted a nine-quarter winning streak Tuesday, losing 0.3 percent in the past three months and extending its worst start to a year since 2010. Stocks in the benchmark are up 200 percent since March 2009 as earnings doubled and companies bought back about $2 trillion of their stock.
Equities fell for a second week, with the S&P 500 down 1.2 percent after negotiations over Greece's bailout broke down following Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' unexpected announcement of a July 5 referendum on creditors' aid terms.
Greece is now living with capital controls and has shut banks and its stock market after its euro-area financial-aid package expired and it missed a payment to the International Monetary Fund.
A survey showed 47 percent leaned toward a "yes" vote on the referendum, an endorsement of austerity and the international bailout. The "no" camp, the government's position rejecting those terms, was 43 percent. The margin of error in the survey of 1,000 people was 3.1 percentage points.
The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index increased 4.4 percent to 16.79. The gauge, known as the VIX, had its biggest weekly gain since January, up almost 20 percent. Six of the S&P 500's 10 main groups declined Thursday, led by financial and health care companies. About 5.6 billion shares traded hands on U.S. exchanges, 11 percent below the three-month average.