Stocks Dawdle after Jobs Report

Stocks fell Friday after the July jobs report was much better than expected, showing a strong labor market that will likely mean more interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve.

The Dow Jones Industrials lost 8.83 points to begin Friday’s session at 32,717.99

The S&P 500 dipped 2.1 points to 4,149.84.

The NASDAQ Composite sank 15.61 points to 12,705.97.

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 2.84% from Thursday’s 2.67%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices regained $1.19 to $89.73 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices demurred $14.80 to $1,792.10 U.S. an ounce.