Stocks wavered Friday in a volatile trading session after the July jobs report was much better than expected, as investors assessed what a strong labor market would mean for the Federal Reserve’s rate tightening campaign.
The Dow Jones Industrials regained 76.65 points to 32,803.47. Even with Friday’s gains, however, it fell on the week.
The S&P 500 fell 6.75 points to 4,145.19.
The NASDAQ Composite dropped 63.02 points to 12,657.56. Still, both the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ ended the first week of August higher.
Losses were offset by bank stocks, which rose on hopes that interest rate hikes will continue at a solid clip. Energy stocks also gained, but technology companies slumped.
The labour market added 528,000 jobs in July, easily beating a Dow Jones estimate of a 258,000 increase. The unemployment rate ticked down to 3.5%, below the 3.6% estimate.
Wage growth also ticked up more than estimated, up 0.5% for the month and 5.2% higher than a year ago, signaling that high inflation is likely still a problem.
Major averages posted their best month since 2020 in July on the hope the Fed would slow the pace of its hikes. The S&P 500 added 9.1% last month. Friday’s losses pushed the index into the red for this week.
Treasury prices retreated, raising yields to 2.82% from Thursday’s 2.67%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices fell 13 cents to $88.41 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices demurred $16.50 to $1,790.40 U.S. an ounce.
Stocks Notch Weekly Gains on Jobs Report