US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell attends a press conference in Washington, DC, on March 22, 2023.
Liu Jie/Xinhua via Getty Images
Stocks were mostly higher on Friday with major indexes notching a weekly gain.
Jobs data showed the labor market cooling and wage growth slowing.
The report was a sign that the economy is cooling, giving the Fed room back off its aggressive monetary policy.
US stocks were mostly higher on Friday, ending the week with gains as investors digested the latest employment report for August.
Nonfarm payrolls showed employers add 187,000 jobs in August. While that was above economists’ estimates of 170,000, the report also showed wage growth slowed during the month and the unemployment rate rose to 3.8% from July’s 3.5%.
The report was a clear indicator of a cooling labor market, something the Federal Reserve wants to see to know that interest rate hikes are working and inflation is coming back into line with its target.
After the employment report was published, fed fund futures show investors see a 93% chance that interest rates remain unchanged at this month’s Fed policy meeting, and that the benchmark rate will likely stay in the current 5.25%-5.50% range through the end of the year.
“If the economy can continue to expand and the labor market can cool at a slow pace, rather than at a rapid clip, then the Fed can afford to leave rates where they are and patiently wait for (current) higher rates to do their work,” Chris Zaccarelli said in a statement.
Though trades were lower for the day, each major index gained through August’s closing week. The tech-heavy Nasdaq gained about 3%, followed by the S&P at 2% and Dow at 1%.
Here’s where US indexes stood shortly after the 4:00 p.m. closing bell on Friday:
Here’s what else is going on:
Bitcoin fell for its second month in August as crypto was not spared in the market sell off.Housing market priorities have shifted away from location — Here’s what renters and buyers want in a new home.10 year T-bills are headed for their third consecutive year of loss. This hasn’t happened since 1787.David Rosenberg says that the US will fall into a recession in six months. Europe’s top copper producer lost hundreds of millions in a scrap metal scrap.
In commodities, bonds, and crypto:
Oil prices gained. West Texas Intermediate climbed 2.7% to $85.89 a barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, was up 2.3% to $88.80 a barrel.Gold edged up 0.05% to $1,966.90 per ounce.The 10-year Treasury yield shot up nine basis points to 4.181%.Bitcoin slid 1.19% to $25,627.