U.S. Stocks Turn Mixed After Seeing Initial Strength

After an initial move to the upside, the major U.S. stock indexes have turned mixed over the course of trading on Friday. While the Dow and the S&P 500 are holding on to gains, the Nasdaq has pulled back into negative territory.

Currently, the Dow is well off its highs of the session but still up 104.06 points or 0.3 percent at 34,825.97. The S&P 500 is also up 4.67 points or 0.1 percent at 4,512.33, but the Nasdaq is down 27.26 points or 0.2 percent at 14,007.71.

The mixed performance on Wall Street comes following the release of a mixed employment from the Labor Department.

While the closely watched report showed modestly stronger than expected job growth in the month of August, the report also showed an unexpected increase in the unemployment rate.

The Labor Department said employment climbed by 187,000 jobs in August compared to economist estimates for the addition of 170,000 jobs.

Meanwhile, the report said the unemployment rate climbed to 3.8 percent in August from 3.5 percent in July. Economists had expected the unemployment rate to remain unchanged.

With the unexpected increase, the unemployment rate reached its highest level since hitting a matching rate in March 2022.

The advance by the unemployment rate came as the size of the labor force surged by 736,000 persons, while the household survey measure of employment rose by 222,000 persons.

While the increase in the unemployment rate initially added to optimism about the Federal Reserve refraining from further interest rate hikes, a subsequent surge by treasury yields may be weighing on the Nasdaq.

Sector News

Computer hardware stocks are turning in some of the market’s best performances on the day, resulting in a 3.8percent spike by the NYSE Arca Computer Hardware Index.

Dell Technologies (DELL) is posting a standout gain, with the computer company soaring by 23.9 percent after reporting better than expected fiscal second quarter results.

A continued surge by the price of crude oil is also contributing to substantial strength among energy stocks.

With crude for October delivery jumping $1.48 to $85.11 a barrel, the Philadelphia Oil Service Index is up by 2.9 percent and the NYSE Arca Oil Index is up by 1.6 percent.

Financial, steel and housing stocks are also seeing notable strength, moving higher along with most of the other major sectors.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher, with trading Hong Kong suspended due to Typhoon Saola. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index rose by 0.3 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index climbed by 0.4 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets are turning in a mixed performance on the day. While the German DAX Index is down by 0.4 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is nearly unchanged and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.5 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have come under pressure after an initial move to the upside. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 8.8 basis points at 4.181 percent.

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