US Stocks Mixed After Jobs Report 12/03 09:40
Stocks are churning in mixed trading on Wall Street Friday following a
tough-to-parse report on U.S. jobs, as markets continue to swirl at the tail
end of a dizzying week.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are churning in mixed trading on Wall Street Friday
following a tough-to-parse report on U.S. jobs, as markets continue to swirl at
the tail end of a dizzying week.
The S&P 500 was 0.1% lower, as of 9:50 a.m. Eastern time, after an early
0.7% gain quickly vanished. It's coming off a jolting stretch where it swerved
at least 1.2% in five straight days, pounded by uncertainty about how badly the
newest coronavirus variant will hit the economy and about when the Federal
Reserve will halt its immense support for financial markets.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 39 points, or 0.1%, at 34,590
after earlier being up 161 points. The Nasdaq composite was 0.7% lower.
Treasury yields were modestly higher, while a gauge of fear among U.S. stock
investors eased. But those movements were also erratic, fitting right in with a
week where the S&P 500 swung from a 1.9% gain to a 1.2% loss in one day.
Yields initially sank after the U.S. government said employers added only
210,000 jobs last month, less than half the 530,000 that economists expected.
The jobs report is usually the most anticipated economic data on Wall Street
But they quickly swung back upward as other areas of the jobs report showed
better strength. More people are coming back to the workforce, and the
unemployment rate improved to 4.2% from 4.6%. Those encouraging trends may have
helped quell worries the economy will stagnate even while inflation remains
high, a worst-case scenario that economists call "stagflation."
"Today's non-farm payroll report looks messy to me," said Jamie Cox,
managing partner for Harris Financial Group. "Best to wait for the revisions
next month before sounding the stagflation alarm too loudly."
Investors, of course, were still quick to extrapolate very different
reactions from the mixed report. Some said they expected it to push the Fed to
speed up its removal of support from markets, while others said they expected
The Fed jolted markets earlier this week when its chair said the central
bank will consider wrapping up massive bond-buying program a few months earlier
than the June target it had been on pace for. That would open the door for the
Fed to raise short-term interest rates off their record low, which has been one
of the main reasons for the S&P 500's roughly doubling in value since the early
days of the pandemic. Low rates encourage borrowers to spend more and investors
to pay higher prices for stocks.
The competing schools of thought initially pushed the yield on the two-year
Treasury down to 0.58% before it rebounded back to 0.64%. That's up from 0.63%
The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 1.45% from 1.44% after sinking to 1.40%
immediately after the jobs report's release.
Stocks were stronger in Europe and Asia. Germany's DAX returned 0.3%, while
Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 1%.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng slipped 0.1%. Chinese ride-hailing service Didi Global
Inc. said Friday it will pull out of the New York Stock Exchange and shift its
listing to Hong Kong as the ruling Communist Party tightens control over tech
The Securities and Exchange Commission has moved to require that U.S.-listed
foreign stocks like Didi's disclose their ownership structures and audit
reports, which could lead to some of them being delisted.
In another blow for China's troubled property sector, Hong Kong-traded
developer Kaisa Group said it had failed to get the required approvals from
bond holders to extend the deadline on payment on $400 million of 6.5% offshore
bonds. It had wanted to have the new notes be due on June 6, 2023 at the same
The aim was to relieve financial pressure and the plan's failure to go
through raises the risk of a default.