March 28, 2023

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Stocks slide after jobs report shocks, Big Tech results disappoint

2 min read

U.S. stocks tumbled Friday after government employment data showed more than half a million jobs were added in January — throwing a wrench in hopes for a pause on rate increases — while subpar earnings results from Big Tech giants weighed on investor sentiment.

The U.S. economy added 517,000 jobs last month, far more than payroll gain of 188,000 expected by economists. The unemployment rate fell to 3.4%, the lowest since 1969.

The S&P 500 (^GSPC) dropped 1%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) shed abut 150 points, or 0.4%. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) was off by a sizable 1.7%.

Continued resilience in the labor market likely takes the pressure off the Federal Reserve to reverse course on its rate hiking campaign, an outcome markets have been betting on happening later this year, which in part helped fuel the stock market rally to start the year.

“Assuming there is no irregularity in the data, today’s employment report was unexpected as it showed outsized strength in labor markets across the board,” Goldman Sachs Asset Management head of multi-asset retail investing Alexandra Wilson-Elizondo said in a note.

“The report will make insurance cuts less likely as there are no material signs of stress to force a rate cut,” Wilson-Elizondo added. “In other words, this print gives the Fed more room to allow for stagnation in the macro economy and risk remains skewed to over-tightening causing a recession.”

On the earnings side, Apple (AAPL), Amazon (AMZN), and Google parent Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL) — the market’s most heavily weighted companies — all posted quarterly results that underwhelmed Wall Street. Shares of Apple reversed losses, rallying more than 2%, while Amazon and Alphabet plunged 8.2% and 3.8%, respectively.

Apple said revenue fell 5% as headwinds from COVID lockdowns in China and worker protests at manufacturer Foxconn’s facility in the nation weighed on shipments during the period. iPhone sales, a key metric for the…

2023-02-03 14:57:14

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