NEW YORK (AFP) – The Dow and S&P 500 finished at fresh records on Friday (Aug 6), but the Nasdaq fell as markets weighed strong US jobs data and the implications for monetary policy.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 0.4 per cent at 35,208.51.
The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.2 per cent to close at 4,436.52, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 0.4 per cent to 14,835.76.
The economy added 943,000 new jobs in July, dropping the unemployment rate down half a point to 5.4 per cent, the Labor Department reported.
The data “confirmed that the labor market recovery remained on a healthy track in July,” Oxford Economics said in an analysis.
While “the highly contagious delta variant casts a shadow on the labour market recovery,” the firm’s analysts predicted a strong jobs market in the coming months “assuming the variant doesn’t force renewed containment measures.”
Some analysts said the data likely accelerates the timeframe for the Federal Reserve to scale back stimulus initiatives. Oxford predicted the Fed would initiate this process in early 2022.
Financial shares led the market, with JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America both gaining nearly three percent as US Treasury yields increased following the jobs data.
Among individual stocks, travel website company Expedia slumped 7.9 per cent despite reporting revenues more than three times the year-ago level on higher bookings.