Stocks Barely Clear Breakeven on Jobs Figures

Stocks fell Friday after a stronger-than-expected May jobs report sent yields higher and dashed hopes the Federal Reserve would cut interest rates soon.

The Dow Jones Industrials gained 40.76 points to 38,926.93.

The S&P 500 slipped 2.32 points to 5,350.64.

The NASDAQ lost 31.31 points to 17,141.81.

All three of the major averages are on pace for a winning week. The Dow has a 0.3% gain, while the S&P 500 is higher by 1.1% and the NASDAQ is on pace for a 2.2% advance.

Chipmaker and artificial intelligence darling Nvidia slipped roughly 1.6%. Technology stocks including Meta Platforms and Alphabet traded marginally lower.

Non-farm payrolls increased by 272,000 in May, above the 190,000 estimate from Dow Jones and April’s 175,000. Average hourly wages increased 0.4% last month and ticked up 4.1% from a year ago. However, even with the job gains the unemployment rate ticked higher to 4%.

Investors had been hoping for weak jobs figures that would give the Fed the green light to cut rates, but not so dim as to indicate a recession.

Prices for the 10-year Treasury fell sharply, raising yields to 4.42% from Thursday’s 4.28%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices took on 45 cents to $76.00 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices gave way $64.80 to $2,326.10