The Standard & Poor’s 500 index closed slightly lower on Friday, as November’s jobs report stoked expectations that the US Federal Reserve will stay on its course to raise interest rates to fight inflation.
The Labor Department payroll report showed nonfarm payrolls rose to 263,000, beating expectations for a 200,000 increase, and wage growth in acceleration also with the intensification of fears of recession.
The US unemployment rate remained unchanged as expected at 3.7%, according to Reuters.
Investors have been looking for signs of a weaker job market, in wages in particular, as evidence that inflation is declining at a faster pace, which would allow the Fed to slow and eventually halt the current cycle of rate hikes.
Shares moved higher earlier in the week following remarks by US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell about tapering interest rate hikes in early December.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 5.17 points, or 0.13%, to close at 4,071.40 points, while rising 1.1% for the week.
The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 20.76 points, or 0.18%, to 11461.69 points, while rising 2.1% on the week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average had better luck than its predecessors, as it rose 26.73 points, or 0.08%, to 34,421.74 points. However, the week’s gains were smaller, only 0. 2%, and the three indices posted gains for the second week in a row.
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