Asian stocks mixed after US jobs gain paves way for rate hike

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NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks turned mixed in afternoon trading on Wall Street Monday as investors brace for a busy week of inflation updates.

The S&P 500 gave up early gains and was virtually unchanged at 1:11 p.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 30 points, or 0.1%, to 32,832 and the Nasdaq rose 0.1%.

Shares of small companies outperformed the broader market, a sign that investors had confidence in the economy. The Russell 2000 rose 0.8%.

Retailers and communications stocks were among the big winners. Target rose 1% and Facebook’s parent company Meta rose 2.7%.

Tech stocks slipped and tempered gains elsewhere in the market. Expensive stocks in the sector tend to push the market up or down with more weight.

Clean energy companies gained traction after the Senate approved the Democrats’ big economic package for the election year, which includes funding to help fight climate change. First Solar rose 6.6%.

Bond yields fell. The 10-year Treasury yield slipped to 2.77% from 2.83% Friday night.

Investors remain focused on inflation and its impact on businesses and consumers, as well as the Federal Reserve’s efforts to fight rising prices. The central bank has aggressively raised interest rates to curb economic growth and contain record inflation. The Fed is expected to raise short-term interest rates an additional 0.75 percentage points at its next meeting.

Wall Street fears that the Fed is putting the brakes on the economy too much and causing a recession. This week’s inflation updates may provide more clarity on whether the Fed will remain aggressive.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York on Monday released a survey of consumer expectations from July showing there were “substantial drops” in inflation expectations for everything from food and gas to oil prices. ‘immovable.

The Department of Labor will release its July consumer price report on Wednesday, followed by its wholesale price report on Thursday.

This week’s inflation updates follow last week’s reports showing that the job market remains strong. While this is good for the economy, it has complicated the job of the Fed, which could be forced to pursue aggressive interest rate hikes aimed at cooling the economy and runaway inflation.

Investors are still eyeing the latest round of corporate earnings, which could also provide more detail on how hard inflation is hitting consumers and businesses. Nvidia fell 7.5% after warning investors that its second-quarter revenue would be lower than expected due to lower gaming revenue.

Generic drug maker Viatris rose 4.3% after beating Wall Street’s second-quarter profit and revenue forecasts.

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