S&P 500 hits record high as jobs report fuels rate cut hopes

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This year, the S&P 500 has rallied 16.7 percent, posting its fourth positive week in the last five. Investors are betting on a Federal Reserve rate cut if economic weakness emerges later this year. The Nasdaq has gained 22.3 percent year-to-date.

Labour data released on Friday showed a 206,000 increase in nonfarm payrolls in June, with the unemployment rate rising slightly to 4.1 percent. Economists had expected the jobless rate to stay at 4 percent.

Treasury yields dropped as investors anticipated that the higher unemployment rate would prompt the Fed to cut interest rates later this year. According to the CME Group’s FedWatch Tool, the odds of a September rate cut increased to about 77 percent from 64 percent a week ago.

Seema Shah, chief global strategist at Principal Asset Management, stated, “The rise in the unemployment rate and downward revisions to prior months increase the likelihood of a September Fed rate cut — bond markets are certainly celebrating this. However, these figures also raise concerns about the direction of the US economy. Today’s report adds to the broad host of economic data pointing to a softening.”

Tesla shares rose more than 2 percent, achieving a week-to-date gain of approximately 27 percent. Apple shares also climbed more than 2 percent to a new all-time high.