S&P 500 holds near record as jobs numbers come in

U.S. stocks remained at record highs on Friday as investors eyed the June jobs report, which will play a role in calculating interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve.

The S&P 500 (^GSPC) fell just below the flatline shortly after the report, after hitting a record close in a shortened session on Wednesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) fell 0.2%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) rose 0.3%. All three gauges were closed Thursday in observance of the July 4 holiday.

The U.S. economy added 206,000 jobs in June, more than the 190,000 Wall Street had expected. But the unemployment rate unexpectedly rose slightly to 4.1%, the highest level since November 2021, in another sign that the labor market continues to cool.

Signs of looser conditions in labor data earlier this week bolstered the view that inflation will continue to ease, giving the Fed a chance to cut interest rates from their current two-decade highs. Traders are now pricing in a 75% chance of a cut in September, according to CME’s FedWatch tool.

The 10-year Treasury yield (^TNX) fell slightly to 4.31% in morning trading, continuing its weekly decline.

Investors are agonizing over Friday’s employment numbers, wondering whether the slowing monthly job growth is a sign of a normalizing labor market now that the pandemic is behind us, or the first signs of a broader economic slowdown.

Elsewhere, the Labour Party’s landslide victory in the UK general election has caught the attention of investors monitoring political risk, particularly as the US presidential election approaches. With some major donors urging President Joe Biden to step aside, all eyes are on Donald Trump’s growing lead in the polls and what that could mean for markets.

On the business front, Samsung Electronics (005930.KS) saw its quarterly profit rise to 15 times its year-ago level, pushing the stock to its highest level in three years, helped by the AI ​​boom.

Crypto-linked stocks Coinbase Global (COIN) lost 4% and Marathon Digital (MARA) about 6% in morning trading, as bitcoin (BTC-USD) fell to its lowest level against the dollar since February.

Live5 updates

  • Tesla continues its winning streak

    Shares of Tesla (TSLA) rose as much as 1.1% in morning trading on Friday, extending the company’s longest winning streak in more than a year.

    After rallying 30% in the past seven sessions — and rising nearly 40% in the past month — the stock is approaching breakeven for 2024 after falling as much as 40% so far this year, as of mid-April, Yahoo Finance’s Ines Ferré reports. The gains far outpace the S&P 500’s modest 3.5% gain in the past month.

    Tesla’s continued rally comes after the automaker reported better quarterly deliveries earlier this week.

    In addition to these production and delivery results, Tesla optimists also highlighted the company’s fastest-growing division: its energy storage business.

    Tesla is set to report its quarterly results on July 23 after the market closes. Analysts are also looking ahead to August 8, when the company will unveil its long-awaited robotaxi.

  • Stock Trends in Morning Trading

    Here are some of the stocks topping Yahoo Finance’s trending tickers page during morning trading on Friday.

    Tesla (TSLA): Tesla shares fell slightly after investors pushed the EV maker up nearly 25% in the past week after the company reported vehicle deliveries that beat Wall Street expectations. More broadly, investors are banking on a positive quarterly report later this month and a robotaxi unveiled in early August that analysts are optimistic will be the next phase of the Tesla story. Shares were down less than 1% in morning trading.

    Coinbase (COIN): The crypto market is reeling, dragging related companies down with it. The digital asset exchange fell 5%, reflecting falling prices of bitcoin (BTC-USD), the most popular cryptocurrency and largest by market capitalization. Bitcoin fell to its lowest point against the dollar since February. Cryptominer Marathon (MARA) fell 7%, and online broker Robinhood (HOOD) fell 4%.

    Macy’s (M): Shares of the troubled department store chain jumped nearly 10% Friday morning after a report that an investor group has proposed buying it for a second time, with the latest bid being $300 million higher than the previous one.

    Samsung Electronics (005930.KS): The manufacturing conglomerate rose 3% Friday morning after the company reported quarterly profit that jumped 15 times from a year ago, pushing its stock to a three-year high, helped by the AI ​​boom.

  • Stocks remain flat as unemployment rate rises

    U.S. stocks remained at record highs on Friday as investors wondered how the June jobs report, which showed a slightly higher unemployment rate, would influence the Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision.

    The S&P 500 (^GSPC) was little changed following the report. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) fell below the flatline, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) hovered above. Friday’s trading session continued Wednesday’s action, as all three gauges were closed on Thursday for the July 4 holiday.

  • Pressure is mounting on the Fed to take action

    It’s clear what Friday’s jobs report will bring: The Federal Reserve is at risk of falling behind.

    This means that the central bank may be cutting rates too late, just as many believe the 2022 rate hike was too slow.

    With the unemployment rate at its highest level since November 2021, other data, such as a rise in continuing jobless claims and a decline in job openings, are starting to provide a clear signal that job growth is overstating the strength of the labor market.

    Inflation numbers continue to slow toward the Fed’s 2% target, though that progress appeared to stall in the first few months of the year.

    The Powell Fed’s sensitivity to inflation rates that exceed its target after the 40-year peak in price increases we saw in 2022 is the dominant feature of this policy regime. But the labor market is starting to speak louder and clearer: Things are getting harder for more workers.

    Neil Dutta of Renaissance Macro has become the leading voice on Wall Street saying the Fed needs to be more forceful in cutting rates this fall. In a note issued minutes after Friday’s report was released, he said: “Today’s employment report should confirm expectations of a September rate cut. Economic conditions are cooling, and that’s changing the tradeoffs for the Fed.”

    According to Dutta, the Fed’s July meeting should provide the impetus for a rate cut in September.

  • Job growth outpaces, but unemployment rate rises to highest level since 2021

    The U.S. labor market added more jobs than expected in June, while the unemployment rate unexpectedly rose to its highest level since November 2021, in another sign that the labor market continues to cool.

    Figures released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that the U.S. economy added 206,000 nonfarm jobs in June, more than the 190,000 economists had expected.

    The unemployment rate rose to 4.1%, up from 4% the previous month and the highest reading in nearly three years. June’s job gains were a slight decline from May, when job gains were revised up on Friday to 218,000 from the 272,000 initially reported last month.

    Stock futures rose after the report, extending gains after the market hit record highs earlier this week amid a series of weaker-than-expected economic data, including inflation figures that suggest the U.S. is back on a “disinflationary path,” Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said.

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