United States stocks close mixed following jobs data

Andrew Cummings
August 9, 2020

"That's the good news", Chris Low, chief economist at FHN Financial, said in a note on Friday.

As major averages continue to rally off their March lows, powered by heaps of fiscal and monetary stimulus and better-than-feared second-quarter earnings, the Dow and S&P notched their fifth straight daily gain, with the Nasdaq climbing for a seventh consecutive session.

The Labor Department's closely watched report showed nonfarm payrolls increased by 1.76 million in July.

USA stock index futures fell on Friday as President Donald Trump's moves to ban WeChat and TikTok intensified tensions with Beijing, while investors also braced for data likely to show a sharp slowdown in jobs growth in July.

At 1:11 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 94.42 points, or 0.34%, at 27,292.56, the S&P 500 was down 11.35 points, or 0.34%, at 3,337.81, and the Nasdaq Composite was down 128.54 points, or 1.16%, at 10,979.53.

The wrangle continued as United States lawmakers have not settled their differences over the size and scope of the Covid-19 relief bill. The unemployment rate fell to 10.2 per cent from 11.1 per cent.

US Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer called the meeting with Republicans disappointing and US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that an agreement on stimulus seemed unlikely, with differences still largely unresolved.

Dow up 0.11%, S&P down 0.03%, Nasdaq up 0.32%.

Eight of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors closed higher, with financials up 2.18 per cent, leading the gainers.

T-Mobile US Inc rose 7.8 per cent as it added more-than-expected monthly phone subscribers and said it had overtaken rival AT&T Inc as the second-largest US wireless provider.

ViacomCBS Inc jumped 5.0% after beating analysts' estimates for quarterly revenue due to high demand for streaming.

President Donald Trump issued on Thursday executive orders to address "the threat posed” by Chinese apps TikTok and WeChat". In response, China said the companies complied with USA laws and warned Washington would have to "bear the consequences" of its action.

Shares of WeChat-owner Tencent Holdings Ltd fell as much as 10 per cent in Asia trade, while New York-listed Tencent Music Entertainment Group, which was spun off from Tencent in 2018, fell 4.8 per cent during United States hours.

Microsoft Corp, which is seeking to buy TikTok's U.S. operations, also dropped 1.79 percent.

US-listed Chinese stocks such as Baidu Inc, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and JD.com Inc fell between 2.0 per cent and 3.5 per cent.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the New York Stock Exchange by a 1.43-to-1 ratio; on NASDAQ, a 1.31-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

"In fact, it was better than expected and means a record high level for the S&P 500 index is potentially in grasp".

About 9.69 billion shares changed hands in USA exchanges, compared with the 10.39 billion daily average over the last 20 sessions.

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