Updated at 4:15 p.m. EDT
U.S. stocks ended mixed Friday after a stronger-than-expected jobs report sparked renewed fears over inflation and rate hikes.
The S&P 500 ended down 6.75, or 0.16%, at 4,145.19. The Dow Industrials rose 76.65, or 0.23%, to 32,803.47. The Nasdaq composite fell 63.03, or 0.5%, to 12,657.55.
The S&P 500 and Nasdaq finished the week modestly higher, while the Dow fell slightly over the period.
Updated at 10:30 a.m. EDT
U.S. stocks were gently lower on Friday after a key report showed the economy generated more than double the number of jobs that economists expected,
The data come in the face of the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate increases designed to cool inflation.
“Despite the two straight quarters of contraction in GDP in the first half of the year, these robust job market numbers strongly argue against recession talk,” Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate, said in a statement.
At last check the Dow Jones Industrial Average was off 0.08%, the S&P 500 dipped 0.61% and the Nasdaq Composite eased 0.36%.
U.S. government debt prices traded lower after the jobs data. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.676% and the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond moved higher to 3.09%. Yields move inversely to prices.
Investors viewed the nonfarm payrolls report as providing additional clues on how the labor market was holding up against the Fed’s recent inflation-fighting rate increases and corresponding slowing growth.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the U.S. economy added 528,000 jobs in July, and the jobless rate eased to 3.5% from 3.6%. Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting that 258,000 new jobs were added to the economy last month following June’s 372,000 gain.
Many market watchers were looking for signs that the U.S. labor market would allow the Fed to ease back on its aggressive interest-rate increases. The economy has remained resilient despite rising rates and a corresponding slowdown in economic growth.
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Still, companies as varied as Walmart (WMT) – Get Walmart Inc. Report, Amazon (AMZN) – Get Amazon.com Inc. Report, Tesla (TSLA) – Get Tesla Inc. Report and Robinhood (HOOD) – Get Robinhood Markets Inc. Report have already planned layoffs.
And economists expect to see more job losses from companies in construction, technology, retail and finance, among others.
Inflation continued to soar in June, with the consumer price index jumping 9.1%.
In corporate news, shares of Virgin Galactic (SPCE) – Get Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. Report ended off 17% after the space tourism company said it had postponed the beginning of its commercial flights by another three months, citing delays in work refurbishing its carrier aircraft.
Virgin Galactic announced that commercial service is being pushed back to the second quarter of 2023, the latest setback for the debut of its space tourism business. The company had previously pushed back the date from the fourth quarter of this year to the first quarter of next year.
AMC Entertainment (AMC) – Get AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. Class A Report stock, meantime, reversed course to end the day sharply higher, up 19%, after the meme-stock mascot declared a special dividend in the form of “Ape” preferred shares.
The theater chain said it would issue a special dividend of one AMC preferred-equity unit for each Class A common share outstanding at the close of business Aug. 15. The special dividend is expected to be paid at the close of business Aug. 19.
AMC has applied to list the preferred-equity units on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol APE, starting Aug. 22. The symbol is a nod to the investors who turned the company into a meme stock; they often refer to themselves as “apes” or “ape nation.”
Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) – Get Warner Bros. Discovery Inc. Report shares were down 16.5% after the media giant swung to a loss, posting its first earnings report since Discovery merged with WarnerMedia earlier this year.
On the flip side, shares of Lyft (LYFT) – Get Lyft Inc. Report ended up 16% after the ride-sharing competitor to Uber (UBER) – Get Uber Technologies Inc. Report reported stronger-than-expected second-quarter adjusted operating results thanks to cost-cutting and belt-tightening.
Lyft on Thursday posted a second-quarter adjusted operating profit of $79.1 million, well ahead of its own projection three months ago and Wall Street’s forecasts. Lyft still posted a wider net loss at $377.2 million compared with the year prior.
DoorDash (DASH) – Get DoorDash Inc. Class A Report shares, ended off 1.3% after the delivery app company posted higher revenue in the latest quarter, as consumers stuck to ordering food and household essentials despite restaurant and store re-openings.
DoorDash also raised guidance for the year on the total value of orders placed on its platform, even though it said it expects “a softer consumer spending environment” in the second half of the year.
Carvana (CVNA) – Get Carvana Co. Class A Report shares shot up 40% after the online used-car dealer said it is aggressively cutting costs as demand from consumers remains under pressure and the company faces the prospect of an economic downturn.