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Oldest US stock index notches longest losing streak in nearly half a century

Oldest US stock index notches longest losing streak in nearly half a century
The Dow Jones Transportation Average, the oldest US stock index still in use and one of the most regarded economic indicators, has hit an eleventh consecutive decline, marking the longest session of losses since 1972.

The closely watched index slid 0.45 percent on Friday amid negative market reaction in the US February job report. Since its creation in 1884, the Dow Transports had only five 11-day long consecutive losing streaks, including the latest. It had five periods of a 12-day plunge through its 135-years history, according to the Market Watch citing Dow Jones Market Data and S&P Dow Jones Indices. 

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The Dow Transports index reflects the performance of 20 large transportation companies, from railroad operators to airlines. Their performance is considered one of the major signs of economic health as the firms ship goods around the world. Thus the transportation companies’ losses, reflected by the benchmark index, may be a troubling sign for the whole economy.

Friday’s fall of Wall Street's main indexes was triggered by the Labor Department report, showing that the US economy created only 20,000 jobs – the fewest number since September 2017.

Discussing what could lead to such unexpected figures, analysts told RT’s Boom Bust that the bad February weather, as well as transportation troubles linked to uncertainty in US-China trade talks, could have contributed to it.

“This is sort of consistent with an expectation of slowing growth in the economy going forward,” Managing Director in the FTI Consulting, Boris Richard, told host Bart Chilton. However, he noted that average employment figures are still strong so that there is no reason for panic so far.

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