The S&P 500 fell below a six-month high on Friday on data showing a slowdown in U.S. employment growth, while US-China tensions escalated with President Donald Trump’s move to ban WeChat and TikTok.
As the benchmark index is now less than its record level of 1%, gains came from utilities, communication services, and real estate stocks. Energy is one of the biggest declines in morning trading.
A report closely monitored by the Department of Labor showed that unarmed payrolls increased by 1.76 million in July. Although it was better than the 1.6 million jobs surveyed by Reuters, it was much lower than the 4.8 million records in June.
“Expectations of a negative jobs print had been hanging over investors for the past month, preventing them from fully enjoying the run of strong economic data,” said Seema Shah, chief strategist at Principal Global Investors in London.
“In fact, it was better than expected and means a record high level for the S&P 500 index is potentially in grasp.”
The Nasdaq closed above 11,000
The US. The Nasdaq closed above 11,000 on Thursday, with Congress counting on traders to agree on another coronavirus relief package, stressing the disconnect between financial health and a stimulus-led rally on Wall Street.
However, Democrats and Trump’s top aides have so far failed to make significant progress, with the differences partially centralized and continuing with $600 a week in unemployment benefits.
Meanwhile, Trump on Thursday released a massive ban on U.S. transactions with the Chinese owners of the messaging app WeChat and the video-sharing app TikTok. In response, the companies warned that they were complying with U.S. laws and that Washington would have to “cope with the consequences” of its action.
In 2018, New York-listed Tencent Music Entertainment Group fell 3.3%, while Facebook Inc. rose 3.8%.
TikTok’s U.S. Microsoft Corp., which is trying to buy operations, fell 0.9%. US-listed Chinese stocks Baidu Inc., Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd, and JD.com Inc. fell between 1.9% and 4.1%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.17%, the S&P 500 0.06%, and the Nasdaq Composite 0.87%. The decline erased Nasdaq’s seven-session profit streak.
As the corporate earnings season came to a close in the second quarter, 82% of the S&P 500 companies reported so far surpassed significantly lower expectations, with average revenues coming in at 22.5% above expectations, a record high.
T-Mobile US Inc. rose 8.1% as it added more monthly phone subscribers than the monthly surplus, making it the second-largest U.S. Said it had overtaken rival AT&T Inc. as a wireless provider. AT&T declined 0.6%.
Emerging issues exceed almost matching decliners in the NYSE and 1.27 to 1, decliners in the Nasdaq.
The S&P Index hit 28 new 52-week highs and not a new low, while the Nasdaq hit 97 new highs and six new lows.