US stocks mixed, non-farm wage hikes point to gradual cooling in economy by– U.S. stocks were mixed on Friday, with investors watching for signs of a slowdown in the labor market that has prompted the Federal Reserve to consider efforts to tame inflation.

At 09:40 ET (13:40 GMT), the was trading 30 points, or 0.1% lower, while the was up 6 points, or 0.1%, and the was up 60 points, or 0.3%.

Payrolls point to a gradually cooling labor market

The US economy added more jobs than expected in June, although the figure was lower than the previous month, pointing to a possible slowdown in labour demand in the world's largest economy.

The number was 206,000 last month, down from 218,000 in May, according to Labor Department data on Friday. The May figure was also sharply reduced from the initial figure of 272,000, while the April figure was cut by 57,000 to 108,000.

Economists had put the number for June at 191,000.

In addition, inflation rose to 4.1% from 4.0% in May, and month-on-month growth slowed slightly.

“Non-farm payroll growth in June was slightly above expectations, but the story is one of big declines in April and May. The job market is slowing down,” said Kathy Jones, chief fixed income strategist at Charles Schwab (NYSE:) (NYSE:SCHW), in a post on social media platform X.

This slowdown in the jobs market in June comes after a series of weaker-than-expected labor market data this week.

With weak and soft economic data, expectations grew that the Fed would have enough confidence to start cutting rates.

Stock markets were closed on Thursday for the Independence Day holiday, but Wall Street indexes were off record highs earlier this week.

Tesla gets a boost from Chinese demand

Tesla (NASDAQ:) stock rose nearly 1% after several state-owned companies in China's financial hub Shanghai recently bought the electric vehicle maker's best-selling Model Y as service cars, following a local media report that said Tesla cars were made eligible for a Chinese local government's purchase list.

Macy's (NYSE:) stock rose more than 7% after the Wall Street Journal reported that Arkhouse Management and Brigade Capital Management raised their bid to buy the department store chain for about $6.9 billion.

Coinbase Global (NASDAQ:) stock dropped 6%, extending losses to the cryptocurrency exchange after the world's most popular digital currency fell to its lowest level since February.

Weekly rise expected in crude oil

Crude oil prices remained steady on Friday, remaining in positive territory for the fourth consecutive week on expectations of strong summer fuel demand in the US.

By 09:40 ET, futures (WTI) were down 0.1% to $83.78 a barrel, while the contract was down 0.1% to $87.35 a barrel.

Oil prices rose this week on expectations of strong summer demand in the United States, the world's biggest oil consumer, while official data showed the country's crude and fuel inventories fell more than expected last week.

Escalation of geopolitical tensions in the Middle East this week also weighed on market sentiment.

(Amber Warrick contributed to this article.)

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