Nasdaq rises 1%, S&P 500 climbs for first day in 4 as jobs report looms: Live updates

Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., December 7, 2023. 

Brendan Mcdermid | Reuters

The S&P 500 rose Thursday, attempting to snap a three-day losing streak as traders looked ahead to Friday’s all-important jobs report.

The broad market index climbed 0.8%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 74 points, or 0.2%. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 1.3% as technology stocks outperformed.

Shares of Google-parent Alphabet gained 6.5% as traders cheered the company’s launch of its Gemini artificial intelligence model. Nvidia and AMD also added more than 1% and 8%, respectively.

The moves come after the Dow and S&P 500 on Wednesday both posted their first three-day losing streaks since October. Despite recent performance, the three major indexes remain poised to finish the fourth quarter and calendar year higher, underscoring the strength of the rally seen earlier.

The job market has been a focus of investors this week amid a series of mixed data releases.

Weekly jobless claims released Thursday were below economist expectations and a reading of continuing jobless claims declined, indicating that the pace of layoffs hasn’t increased. The U.S. 10-year Treasury yield initially popped on the back of the figures, reflecting concerns around the strength of the labor market despite the Federal Reserve’s efforts to tame inflation.

Private payrolls data issued on Wednesday showed that employers added fewer positions than economists forecasted.

Meanwhile, the volume of job openings in October fell to its lowest level since March 2021, according to Labor Department data released Tuesday.

It left traders with a confusing picture ahead of the main event: Friday’s official jobs report. Economists polled by Dow Jones expect that 190,000 jobs were added in November, a step up from the prior month. Investors are hoping for signs of cooling in the labor market, leaving the Federal Reserve comfortable with its decision to halt interest rate hikes.

“The market has more than likely gotten ahead of itself in forecasting rate cuts for early next year,” said Alex McGrath, chief investment officer at NorthEnd Private Wealth. “The jobs number tomorrow could dump an ice bath on sentiment.”

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