Finance News

Inventory futures are up barely after the better-than-expected job report for June

Futures contracts, pegged to major US stock indices, rose slightly on Friday as the June job report beat expectations, which set Wall Street on its way to a solid week of earnings across the board.

Contracts pegged to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 86 points, while those for the S&P 500 added 0.3%. Nasdaq 100 futures traded approximately 0.5% higher.

The economy created 850,000 jobs last month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected an increase of 706,000. The pressure surpassed the 559,000 jobs created in May.

At 5.9%, the unemployment rate was higher than expected.

"This is a strong report and should be taken as a sign of an accelerating labor market," Aberdeen Standard Investments' deputy chief economist James McCann said in a statement.

"Today's data will not change the Fed's view. An acceleration in the labor market, as signaled in this report, is exactly what they expected," added McCann. "The rise in hiring should show the central bank that companies are more successful in recruiting, which is likely to allay long-term concerns with rising wages, and announce a slowdown in asset purchases."

Wages rose 0.3% for the month and 3.6% year-over-year, which is in line with expectations.

"Data over the past few months suggests that rising labor demand linked to recovery from the pandemic may have put wages under pressure," his Bureau of Labor Statistics report said.

Despite the uncertainty creeping into the job report, stock markets have been strong for the past few days and continued to record highs on Thursday.

The S&P 500 rose 0.5% during Thursday's regular session to hit its sixth record high in a row, finishing above 4,300 for the first time at 4,319.94. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 131 points to close at 34,633.53 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.1% to 14,522.38.

These gains contributed to the already robust market returns in 2021.

The economic recovery, sparked by vaccine use and looser Covid-19 restrictions, helped the S&P 500 rise more than 14% in the first half of the year. The Dow and Nasdaq also saw double-digit percentage gains for the six months ended June 30.

For the week, the Nasdaq Composite was up 1.1% at Thursday's close. The S&P 500 and the Dow gained 0.9% and 0.6%, respectively.

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