June 24, 2022

Market and Financial News

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Wall St posts modest gains as jobs report keeps Fed hikes on track

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NEW YORK — The S&P 500 rose modestly to kick off the second quarter on Friday, as the monthly jobs report indicated a strong labor market and is likely to keep the Federal Reserve on track to maintain its hawkish policy stance.

The Labor Department’s employment report showed a rapid hiring pace by employers while wages continued to climb, although not enough to keep pace with inflation.

U.S. employers added 431,000 jobs in March, which was shy of the 490,000 estimate but still showed strong job gains. The unemployment rate dropped to 3.6%, a new two-year low while average hourly earnings rose 5.6% on a year-over-year basis.

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The report heightened expectations that the central bank is likely to become more aggressive in raising interest rates as it seeks to curb inflation as it unwinds its easy monetary policy.

“Job gains were broad, more people are going back to the office,” said Brian Jacobsen, senior investment strategist at Allspring Global Investments in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.

“If other data between now and the next Fed meeting stay this rosy, the Fed will likely feel comfortable hiking by 50 basis points and announcing an aggressive rundown of its balance sheet.”

According to preliminary data, the S&P 500 gained 15.32 points, or 0.34%, to end at 4,544.79 points, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 42.93 points, or 0.27%, to 14,263.45. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 139.10 points, or 0.40%, to 34,817.45.

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Expectations for a 50-basis point interest rate hike at the central bank’s May meeting stand at 73.3%, according to CME’s FedWatch Tool…

Reuters

2022-04-01 16:01:16

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