Stocks fell Friday in a volatile trading session after the July jobs report was much better than expected, as investors assessed what a strong labour market would mean for the Federal Reserve’s rate tightening campaign.
The Dow Jones Industrials headed lower 82.8 points to 32,644.02
The S&P 500 fell 25.26 points to 4,126.68.
The NASDAQ Composite sank 119.32 points to 12,601.26.
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 wilted in the summer heat, raising yields to 2.86% from Thursday’s 2.67%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices regained $1.08 to $89.62 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices demurred $17.60 to $1,788.30 U.S. an ounce.