Wall Street ends lower as tightening expected to continue

All three major Wall Street stock indexes ended lower on Friday after a strong jobs report revived hopes of a pause in the aggressive Federal Reserve policy tightening needed to calm inflation , raised for decades.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq led the declines, falling 2.5%, with shares of market heavyweights Apple and Tesla the biggest drags on the market.

Earlier, the Labor Department’s closely watched report showed nonfarm payrolls rose by 390,000 jobs last month and wages rose, while the unemployment rate held steady at 3.6% – all signs of a tight labor market.

While the jobs report was reassuring for the current state of the economy, investors focused primarily on its potential influence on central bank policy.

Shawn Snyder, head of investment strategy at Citi Personal Wealth Management, saw the strong report as a double-edged sword.

“That tells us the economy is in pretty good shape, which is good news, but seen in the context of what that means for the Federal Reserve and monetary policy tightening, it probably makes them more confident than ‘they can continue to tighten,’ he said. “That seems a bit negative for investors as they hope the Fed will take a break later this year.”

The Dow Jones fell 1.05% to 32,899, the S&P 500 lost 1.63% to 4,108 and the Nasdaq fell 2.47% to 12,012.

For the week, the S&P 500 fell 1.2%, while the Nasdaq fell 0.98% and the Dow Jones lost 0.94% after all three indexes rose sharply the previous week.

Volatility has gripped Wall Street in recent weeks as investors wonder if markets have bottomed amid hawkish comments from Fed officials and data suggesting inflation may have peaked. (Reuters)

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