adplus-dvertising
Connect with us

Live Business Updates

Investors await jobs data, stocks buck recent gains

Published

on

businessnews logo

Stocks gave back some of their recent gains on Thursday, ending a choppy day of trading on Wall Street with a mixed end for the major indices.

The S&P 500 closed down 0.1% after trading in small gains and losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.3%, while the Nasdaq gained 0.4%.

Energy stocks, the biggest gainers in the benchmark S&P 500 so far this year, were under the biggest pressure on the market as the price of US crude fell below $90 a barrel for the first time since early February, ahead of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Gains in technology stocks, retailers and elsewhere helped offset losses in energy, health care and other sectors.

The muted trade came as investors continued to review the latest updates on the economy and corporate earnings ahead of the government’s monthly snapshot of the country’s job market today.

Investors are eyeing jobs data to see whether any tightening in the labor market could eventually prompt the Federal Reserve to cut its interest rate hikes as it fights inflation, potentially leading to a central bank recession. Minimizes the chances of fetch.

“They wanted to spur demand and reduce inflation and they wanted to do that without negatively impacting the labor market,” said Katie Nixon, chief investment officer at Northern Trust Wealth Management. “As of now, the Fed is going to assess all of this as planned and they’ll keep going.”

The S&P 500 fell 3.23 points to 4,151.94 and the Dow fell 85.68 points to 32,726.82. The Nasdaq closed 52.42 points higher at 12,720.58. The Russell 2000 Index of shares of the smaller company was down 2.47 points, or 0.1%, at 1,906.46.

After Wednesday’s rally, all major indexes except the Dow are on the weekly edge of gains.

US crude oil prices fell 2.3% on Thursday to $88.54 a barrel, weighing on shares of the energy company. Exxon Mobil fell 4.2% and Occidental Petroleum fell 5.8%.

Health care stocks also declined. Eli Lilly dropped 2.6%.

Tech stocks and a mix of retailers, homebuilders and industrial companies posted solid gains. Advanced Micro Devices gained 5.9%, Amazon gained 2.2%, Lenar gained 3.4% and Deere gained 1.7%.

Shares have tumbled this week, driving most of the gains in major indices. August’s gains follow an extraordinary July that was the S&P 500’s best month since 2020. But the market remains volatile as investors try to pave the way for the economy amid the highest inflation in four decades and central banks’ efforts to fight high prices.

Earnings remains focused on Wall Street as investors look for more clues about how inflation is affecting various industries. Twinkie maker Hostess fell 3.9% after giving investors a disappointing profit forecast for the year. Bleach and consumer products maker Clorox fell 4.7% after announcing weak earnings forecasts.

Companies are raising prices of everything from food to clothing to help offset the effects of inflation on supply chains, but the pressure has become too much for many consumers. The spurt in petrol prices throughout the year worsened inflation and prompted spending cuts.

The Federal Reserve, along with other central banks, is aggressively raising interest rates to slow the economy and fight inflation. The Bank of England on Thursday introduced its biggest rate hike in more than a quarter century.

Recent economic data from the Retail Sales and Employment report showed that the economy is already slowing down.

“The cure for high inflation is sometimes high inflation,” Nixon said. “The statement that we may be at or past the peak of inflation is being validated by some data.”

Increase in consumer demand and decrease in supply of many goods initially induced inflation. The resulting higher prices have now driven consumers to look for ease of spending. But, the Fed’s aggressive interest rate policy has investors worried that the central bank could hit the brakes too hard on the economy and plunge it into a recession.

This concern is reflected in the bond market, where the yield on two-year Treasuries is higher than the yield on 10-year Treasuries. This is a relatively rare event that some see as a harbinger of a recession within a year or two.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.66% from 2.74% late Wednesday.

A bright point in the broader economy has been a strong job market. New data on Thursday from the Labor Department showed the number of Americans applying for jobless benefits last week rose in line with expectations, as the number of unemployed continues to rise modestly.

The latest data follows updates earlier this week that showed job openings eased, but are still at record highs. The Labor Department’s July jobs report is expected to show some signs of toughness today.

Currency traders watch a monitor in the Forex Dealing Room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, August 4, 2022. Asian stocks rose mostly on Thursday as investors welcomed encouraging economic data and quarterly earnings reports from major companies. (AP photo/Ah Young-joon)
Currency traders watch a monitor in the Forex Dealing Room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, August 4, 2022. Asian stocks rose mostly on Thursday as investors welcomed encouraging economic data and quarterly earnings reports from major companies. (AP photo/Ah Young-joon)
Detail of the exterior of the New York Stock Exchange in New York on Wednesday, August 3, 2022. Stocks are opening nearly flat on Wall Street Thursday, Aug. New data from the Labor Department shows more Americans applied for jobless benefits last week as the number of unemployed continues to rise modestly. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

Source

WATCH NOW

DOWNLOAD NOW

Spread the love
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.