The week on Wall St.
A powerful two-day stock rebound cemented a positive week for investors as a new trading month began.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.99%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 added 1.51%. The Nasdaq Composite index increased 0.73% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, gained 3.42%.1,2,3
Stocks Start Strongly
Stocks opened the week posting their best two-day rally since March 2020, as the U.K. prime minister’s decision to reverse a tax cut proposal that had upended financial markets the previous week lifted investors.4
Falling yields further lifted investor enthusiasm, as did new economic data indicating a cooling economy. Losses in the last two days erased much of the gains as concerns about higher rates and recession once again moved front and center. The selling pressure was due to a stream of hawkish comments by Fed officials and labor market data that suggested the Fed would likely stick with its rate-hike plans.
A Mixed Labor Picture
Employment-related reports offered conflicting signals on the state of the labor market. In a sign of cooling, the number of open jobs in August fell 10%, while a subsequent report from Automated Data Processing (ADP) showed continued labor market strength. ADP reported private employers added a higher-than-anticipated 208,000 jobs in September, and annual wages rose 7.8% from a year ago.5,6
Jobless claims rose to 219,000, up from the previous week’s 190,000 and in line with 2019’s average. September’s employment report showed that employers added 263,000 jobs–slightly lower than expectations. The combination of new hiring and lower labor force participation led to a drop in the unemployment rate to 3.5%.7,8
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