NEW YORK, Oct 5 ― US stocks were little changed today, kept in check by Treasury yields at seven-year highs after the September jobs report did little to alter the view that the Federal Reserve would continue to gradually raise interest rates.
US job growth slowed sharply in September, missing economists’ forecasts, likely as Hurricane Florence depressed restaurant and retail payrolls, a Labor Department report showed. Jobs numbers for July and August were revised higher.
But the unemployment rate fell to near a 49-year low, suggesting the labor market has tightened further, while wages rose steadily, pointing to moderate inflation pressures.
“The overall picture is that the labor market remains solid and robust,” said Matt Luzzetti, senior economist at Deutsche Bank in New York.
“Barring any shocks to the economy, we expect them (Fed) to raise rates in December.”
Among stocks, financials rose 0.42 per cent as longer-dated US Treasury yields rose after the jobs data. Banking companies were up 0.29 per cent.
Seven of the 11 S&P sectors were higher, with the defensive utilities sector up 0.79 per cent.
Technology stocks fell 0.46 per cent, with Intel and Apple both down about 1 per cent. That pressured the Nasdaq.
At 10.03am EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average was flat at 26,627.57. The S&P 500 was up 1.81 points, or 0.06 per cent, at 2,903.42 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 22.18 points, or 0.28 per cent, at 7,857.33.
Still, US stocks are trading near record levels, raising concerns about valuations with the earnings season just around the corner.
Costco Wholesale shares dropped 3.1 per cent after the company’s quarterly sales barely beat analysts’ estimates, while gross margins fell on rising costs and higher investments.
IPG Photonics tumbled 10.1 per cent after the laser-manufacturer cut its third-quarter revenue forecast due to tariff and trade-related problems.
Generic drugmaker Mylan dipped 1.9 per cent after Mizuho downgraded the stock to “neutral” from “buy”.
Tesla shares fell 4.5 per cent after Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk stirred nerves about the settlement of his securities fraud lawsuit by mocking the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Twitter.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.11-to-1 ratio on the NYSE, but advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.06-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 8 new 52-week highs and seven new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 9 new highs and 45 new lows. ― Reuters
Source: The Malay Mail Online