Stocks fell on Friday in a choppy trading session after a much better-than-expected July jobs report as investors assessed what a strong labor market would mean for the Federal Reserve’s rate-tightening campaign.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 96 points, or 0.29%, the S&P 500 was down 0.67%, and the Nasdaq Composite was down 1.01%. The losses were offset by banking stocks, which rose on the hope that interest rates would continue to be raised at strong rates. Energy stocks also rose, but tech companies fell.
The labor market added 528,000 jobs in July, Easily Beating the Dow Jones rating An increase of 258,000. The unemployment rate fell to 3.5%, down from an estimate of 3.6%. Wage growth also rose more than expected, up 0.5% for the month and 5.2% higher than last year, indicating that high inflation remains likely an issue.
Stores I opened less after the report, even if it seems to indicate that the economy is not currently in a recession. Job growth was expected to slow as the Fed continues to raise interest rates to tame inflation, but this report shows that the labor market remains brisk. This means that the central bank may act more aggressively at its next meeting.
Art Hogan, chief market strategist at BP, said: Financial issues. “It’s clearly a situation where the economy is not screaming or heading into a recession here and now.”
This report is critical because it is one of two that the central bank will watch before deciding how much to raise interest rates at its September meeting. The Fed will have another jobs report and two more CPI numbers to assess before it makes its next rate decision.
The major averages posted their best month since 2020 in July on hopes that the Fed will slow the pace of its increases. The S&P 500 added 9.1% last month.