Live stock market news updates: Stocks wobble as investors sift through October payrolls data

Live stock market news updates: Stocks wobble as investors sift through October payrolls data

U.S. stocks gave up Friday’s morning rally as traders weighed monthly employment data and weighed talks that China may ease COVID restrictions.

The S&P 500 ( ^GSPC ) and Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI ) both rose about 0.1%, up sharply from the previous period, while the technology-focused Nasdaq Composite ( ^IXIC ) fell 0.2%.

The U.S. economy added 261,000 jobs in October, while the September figure was revised upward to 315,000 from a previously reported 263,000, the Labor Department said on Friday. Economists had expected wages to rise by 195,000 last month, according to consensus estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The unemployment rate rose to 3.7%.

“Today’s stronger-than-expected report illustrates the difficult task still ahead of the Fed in battling a resilient labor market and sticky inflation,” said Mike Loewengart, head of model portfolio construction in Morgan Stanley’s Global Investment Office. “While this number may be disappointing for investors hoping for a dovish Fed sooner rather than later, keep in mind that this was the lowest reading in nearly two years, so there may be signs that the market is slowing.”

Investors had bet that some signs of a cooling labor market would prompt the Federal Reserve to back off its aggressive rate-hike campaign, but Chairman Jerome Powell said on Wednesday that the slight easing in data was not enough to suspend labor growth. conditions are still historically tight.

“Although job vacancies have moved below their highs and the pace of job growth has slowed from the start of the year, the labor market remains unbalanced and demand far outstrips the supply of available workers,” Powell said Wednesday after the U.S. Federal Reserve announced its fourth straight interest rate hike by 75 basis points.

In the third quarter of this year, wage gains averaged 372,000 per month. Weekly jobless claims, the most up-to-date snapshot of the US labor market, are also consistently low, with this week’s figure at 217,000.

“Initial claims won’t increase one bit,” DataTrek’s Nicholas Colas said in a note. “Simply put, there is still no sign that either the Fed’s aggressive monetary policy, or the tighter financial conditions it has brought, has yet hit US labor markets.”

Central banks around the world have been in lockstep with the U.S. Federal Reserve to continue a belligerent path of monetary tightening, raising concerns about the impact of synchronized rate hikes. The Bank of England raised interest rates by 75 basis points on Thursday, while European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said in recent remarks that it may be necessary to raise rates to a restrictive level to bring inflation back to the 2% target.

While monetary policy has grabbed investors’ attention this week, corporate earnings have continued to rush. Shares of Block ( SQ ) rose 16% after the company significantly beat estimates on strong performance in its Cash App and Square Payments offerings.

Meanwhile, payments partner PayPal ( PYPL ) saw shares fall 4% after the company cut its revenue forecast to 8.5% from a previous outlook of 18%, although it beat earnings results.

Shares of Twilio ( TWLO ) fell 34% after the cloud communications company missed profit and reported weaker-than-expected results.

Shares of toymaker Funko ( FNKO ) plunged 50% after the company reported a big profit miss and cut its full-year forecast ahead of the holiday season.

Meanwhile, shares of Alibaba ( BABA ) rallied 6% alongside gains in Chinese stocks on speculation that the country will end its strict zero-covid policy.

Alexandra Semenova is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alexandraandnyc

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