Market Snapshot: U.S. stocks close mostly lower as robust July jobs report stokes worries over Fed rate hikes

by | Aug 5, 2022 | Stock Market

U.S. stocks closed mostly lower Friday after a much stronger-than-expected reading on July employment reinforced expectations for the Federal Reserve to keep aggressively raising interest rates in its bid to rein in inflation.How did stocks trade?
The Dow Jones Industrial Average
rose 76.65 points, or 0.2%, to close at 32,803.47.

The S&P 500
fell 6.75 points, or 0.2% to finish at 4,145.19.

The Nasdaq Composite
shed 63.03 points, or 0.5%, to end at 12,657.55.

For the week, the Dow edged down 0.1%, while the S&P 500 rose 0.4% and the technology-heavy Nasdaq gained 2.2%, according to FactSet data. The Nasdaq and S&P 500 each rose for a third straight week, while the Dow snapped two straight weeks of gains, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

What drove markets? Stocks mostly fell Friday after a surprisingly strong jobs report worried investors that the Federal Reserve may need to keep up its aggressive interest rate hikes to the cool economy and tame inflation. “It puts 75 basis points squarely on the table for the Fed in September,” said Jim Baird, chief investment officer of Plante Moran Financial Advisors, in a phone interview Friday, referring to market expectations for another large rate hike at the central bank’s next meeting. The jobs report “ups the ante for the Fed and puts them in a position where it should be an easy call for them to continue to tighten.” Read: A red-hot July jobs number has traders penciling in another jumbo Fed rate hike The U.S. economy added 528,000 jobs in July, the Labor Department reported Friday, far exceeding the 258,000 consensus estimate. The unemployment rate ticked down to 3.5%, matching the lowest level since the late 1960s, while average hourly earnings climbed 15 cents, or 0.5%, to $32.27. Announcements of layoffs by a number of high profile companies had earlier raised concerns that a robust labor market may be softening. Friday’s jobs data triggered a sharp rise in U.S. Treasury yields and a lower stock-market opening as investors priced in prospects of further jumbo-sized rat …

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