FILE - A Wall Street sign is seen against the background of a giant American flag hanging on the building of the New York Stock Exchange, in New York City, Sept. 21, 2020.
FILE - A Wall Street sign is seen against the background of a giant American flag hanging on the building of the New York Stock Exchange, in New York City, Sept. 21, 2020.

U.S. stocks closed lower Friday on news that U.S. President Donald Trump had tested positive for COVID-19, but the losses were less than what investors had braced for in the early morning.

Stocks pared losses from the morning after the White House gave assurances that Trump, who was experiencing mild symptoms, was not incapacitated.

The S&P 500 fell 32 points, or 1%, to 3,348. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 134 points, or 0.5%, while the Nasdaq Composite Index fell 251, or 2.2%.

The comeback from earlier losses was also the result of an announcement Friday by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that an agreement to provide another $25 billion in government assistance to the airline industry was "imminent."

Also affecting the markets Friday was the latest U.S. jobs report, usually the headline economic development each month. The government reported that 661,000 jobs were added in September as the economy slowly recovers from the worst of the coronavirus pandemic this spring. But that was a smaller jobs bump than economists were expecting and the third straight month of slower-than-expecting hiring.

Overnight, markets were down. In Asia, the world’s third-largest stock market index, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei, closed down 0.7%, erasing the gains of Thursday.

Sydney, Singapore, Jakarta and Bangkok markets were also down, all more than 1% lower. Only Manila and Wellington markets rose. Hong Kong and Shanghai markets were closed because of a national holiday in China. London, Paris and Frankfurt markets all fell more than 1% at the open.