US stocks trade lower amid jobs data release

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New York, July 6 (IANS) US stocks traded on a downbeat note Friday after the release of stronger-than-expected jobs data reduced the chances of immediate rate-cut moves from the Federal Reserve.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 118.21 points, or 0.44 per cent, to 26,847.79. The S&P 500 was down 18.50 points, or 0.62 per cent, to 2,977.32. The Nasdaq Composite Index decreased 53.84 points, or 0.66 per cent, to 8,116.39, Xinhua reported.

Ten of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors traded lower, with both consumer staples and industrials down more than 1 per cent in midday trading, leading the laggards. Financials climbed 0.25 per cent, the only gainer among the groups.

US employers added 224,000 jobs in June, and the unemployment rate edged up to 3.7 per cent, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

Job gains mainly occurred in professional and business services, health care, transportation and warehousing, the bureau said.

June’s total nonfarm payroll employment is markedly higher than May’s downwardly revised number of 72,000, and is higher than the economists’ forecast of 165,000 surveyed by The Wall Street Journal.

Investors have been pricing high on more easing monetary policy by the US central bank in order to spur growth. The better-than-anticipated employment report may cloud the hopes, experts noted.

Strong job growth in June reduces rate-cut odds, said Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial, said in a note on Friday.

“Because the Fed defined the need for rate cuts in terms of slowing growth rather than low inflation, a cut at the end of this month seems unlikely unless there is significant weakness in consumer indicators,” he added.

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