Stocks open little changed as rates pop on jobs report

Stock futures point to modest losses after payroll report
October 5, 2018
Wall Street succumbs to soaring bond yields
October 5, 2018

Stocks open little changed as rates pop on jobs report

Stocks opened little changed on Friday after the release of mixed employment data jolted interest rates higher.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose just 9 points as J.P. Morgan Chase outperformed. The S&P 500 traded 0.1 percent higher as financials gained 0.4 percent. The Nasdaq Composite was flat to start off the session.

Bank shares rose slightly on Friday. J.P. Morgan Chase and Bank of America both climbed 0.4 percent while Citigroup advanced 0.3 percent.

The U.S. economy added 134,000 in September, well below the expected gain of 185,000. However, the U.S. unemployment rate fell to its lowest level since 1969. Job gains for August also received a sharp upward revision to an addition of 270,000 jobs from 201,000. Wages, meanwhile, grew by 2.8 percent last month on a year-over-year basis to match expectations.

“The labor market is going to keep getting tighter and that will mean higher wages,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities. “This is going to keep upward pressure on rates and continue to put downward pressure on stocks.”

The 10-year note yield rose to 3.227 percent and hit a fresh 2011 high while the two-year note yield advanced to 2.897 percent. Yields have been on the rise this week amid strong economic data.

Comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell also pushed yields higher. Powell on Wednesday said that the Fed had a long way to go before interest rates would hit neutral, suggesting to markets that more hikes could be coming.

Other economic data released Friday include the U.S. trade deficit, which widened to $53.2 billion in August even amid an ongoing trade spat between the States and some of its key trade partners.

Over the past 12 months, the deficit is up $31 billion or 8.6 percent.

Snap shares rose 2.6 percent after CEO Evan Spiegel set a profitability goal for the company for 2019. A memo obtained by CNBC also outlined some of the company’s problems with its app and apologized for its redesign.