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U.S Stocks Rise After Job Openings Drop as Investors Consider Fed Move

August 29, 2023
minute read

On Tuesday, U.S. equities are displaying upward momentum, bolstered by data indicating a moderation in the labor market's pace—potentially fostering further support for the Federal Reserve's future adjustment of interest-rate policies.

Current Stock Market Performance:

  • The S&P 500 index has advanced by 29 points, translating to a 0.6% gain, bringing the index to 4,462.
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average has climbed by 59 points, equivalent to a 0.1% rise, positioning the index at 34,619.
  • The Nasdaq Composite has gained 163 points, signifying a 1.1% increase, elevating the index to 13,868.

Yesterday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) experienced a 213-point increase, or a 0.62% rise, reaching 34,560. Similarly, the S&P 500 (SPX) added 28 points, marking a 0.63% increase, and concluded at 4,433. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP) surged by 114 points, reflecting an 0.84% gain, closing at 13,705.

Market Dynamics:In an otherwise subdued trading month of August, the stock market has managed to achieve consecutive gains. Following an initial period of market uncertainty during the trading session's commencement, recent data has showcased a decline in job openings to a 28-month low, accompanied by a reduction in the number of workers resigning from their positions. The reported count of job listings diminished to 8.8 million, which falls below the projected figure of 9.5 million.

In parallel, July witnessed a decrease in the number of individuals voluntarily leaving their jobs, marking the lowest count over the past two and a half years. This trend suggests a degree of increased prudence among job seekers.

The month of August also witnessed a decline in consumer confidence, with the index decreasing from 114 to 106.1, as reported by the Conference Board.

Investors are contemplating the implications of these data points, as they may contribute to a scenario wherein the Federal Reserve takes a more lenient approach towards future interest-rate hikes. Notably, Nick Bunker, Head of Economic Research at Indeed Hiring Lab, indicated that the recent job market data suggests the conclusion of the "Great Resignation" phase, fostering a potential path toward a soft economic landing.

Market watchers are anticipating additional catalysts throughout the week. The Federal Reserve is closely monitoring its preferred inflation gauge, the July Personal Consumption Expenditures Price Index, which is scheduled for release on Thursday, followed by August employment data on Friday.

Market Sentiment and Bond Yields:Market movements have showcased an inverse correlation with fluctuations in benchmark bond yields, underscoring investors' attempts to decipher the trajectory of Federal Reserve policy. As of mid-morning on Tuesday, Treasury yields have continued to decline, with the 10-year Treasury yield settling at 4.15%. This rate had experienced its highest level since 2007 last week, approaching 4.37%. However, it has now eased to 4.22%.

Mark Newton, Head of Technical Strategy at Fundstrat, expressed a note of caution, warning that a potential return to higher monthly yield levels could unsettle U.S. equities, although he expects such a move to be short-lived.

Housing Market Insights:Ongoing attention is directed at the housing market, where mortgage rates are often influenced by the yield on the 10-year bond. Despite mortgage rates hovering around 7% or higher, recent data reveals a rise in home prices during June. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city house-price index exhibited a 0.9% increase in June compared to May. However, on a national scale, house prices declined by 1.2% in June, year over year.

Earnings Season Continuation:Several companies are concluding their second-quarter earnings reporting cycle, including Best Buy (BBY), Bank of Montreal (BMO), J.M. Smucker (SJM), and Hewlett Packard (HPE), all of which are expected to release their results on Tuesday.

John Liu
Eric Ng
John Liu
Editorial Board
Bryan Curtis
Adan Harris
Managing Editor
Cathy Hills
Associate Editor

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