June 18th, 2024

Stock market today: Hotter-than-expected jobs report sends US stocks lower

By Zimo Zhong And Matt Ott, The Associated Press on June 7, 2024.

An electronic stock board shows Japan's Nikkei 225 index outside a securities firm Friday, June 7, 2024 in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama)

NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks are opening slightly lower and Treasury yields are rising sharply after the government released a surprisingly hot jobs report, suggesting that markets may have to wait even longer for interest rate cuts from the Federal Reserve. The S&P 500 fell 0.3% early Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 84 points, and the Nasdaq composite fell 0.4%. The yield on the 10-year Treasury jumped to 4.41%. GameStop, the troubled video game retailer at the center of the meme stock craze, dropped 9% after reporting a quarterly loss and saying it planned to sell up to 75 million more shares.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

Wall Street shifted between small gains and losses in quiet trading before the bell Friday as markets anticipated the release of key U.S. jobs data.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 each rose less than 0.1% before markets opened.

GameStop, the troubled video game retailer at the center of the meme stock craze, fell more than 16% after it reported another loss and filed regulatory paperwork to sell up to 75 million shares. GameStop Corp. lost $32.3 million, or 11 cents per share, for the period ended May 4 as sales fell 29% from a year ago.

Vail Resorts tumbled 6.7% after the ski resort operator missed Wall Street’s profit and sales targets as demand for its multi-resort Epic Pass softened.

With limited corporate news and only a handful of companies reporting earnings, most of Wall Street’s attention was focused on the May jobs report coming out later Friday.

A strong labor market has contributed to the Federal Reserve’s insistence on keeping its interest rate elevated for the past year, though some softness has surfaced recently. The number of job vacancies in April fell to their lowest level since 2021, while that month’s job gains – 175,000 – were the fewest in six months.

Economists are forecasting that the economy added a similar 180,000 jobs in May.

Part of the Fed’s intent in cranking up interest rates beginning in 2022 was to cool the labor market and the slow wage growth that it believes contributed to the highest inflation in four decades. While year-over-year price growth has come down from highs above 9%, the job market has remained strong. The unemployment rate has remained under 4% for 27 straight months, the longest stretch since the 1960s.

The jobs data coming Friday will likely be considered by Fed officials when it meets next week to decide on interest rates, but most experts are predicting that the U.S. central bank will leave its benchmark rate alone for the seventh straight time.

Elsewhere, European stocks fell in midday trading after the European Central Bank cut its key interest rate from a record high of 4% on Thursday, leaving uncertainties for the policy’s next move. France’s CAC 40 and Germany’s DAX each lost 0.9% while Britain’s FTSE 100 shed 0.5%.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 edged 0.1% lower to 38,683.93 after Friday data showed household spending in April was up 0.5% year-on-year. This was the first increase since February 2023 and is a key indicator in assessing the country’s economy as central bank officials prepare to hold a policy meeting next week.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index declined 0.6% to 18,366.95, while the Shanghai Composite index was up 0.1% at 3,051.28 as China trade data showed that exports in May rose faster than expected at 7.6% compared to a year earlier, while imports were weaker than market forecasts.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.5% to 7,860.00. South Korea’s Kospi surged 1.2% to 2,722.67.

In other trading, U.S. benchmark crude oil gained 56 cents to $76.11 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Brent crude, the international standard, was up 48 cents to $80.35 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar ticked down to 155.63 Japanese yen from 155.68 yen. The euro cost $1.0898, up from $1.0888.

The S&P 500 barely budged on Thursday, a day after leaping to a record high for the 25th time this year. It dipped less than 0.1% to 5,352.96. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.2% to 38,886.17, while the Nasdaq composite slipped 0.1% to 17,173.12 after hitting its own record.

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