On Friday, the Nasdaq Composite rose in choppy trading as investors responded to a stronger-than-expected jobs report that may keep the Federal Reserve on track for its aggressive rate increases. The Nasdaq gained 0.12% to settle at 11,635.31, while the S&P 500 dipped 0.08% to 3,899.38. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 46.40 points, or 0.15%, at 31,338.15. The Nasdaq has risen for five straight days for the first time this year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday that nonfarm payrolls increased 372,000 in June, exceeding the Dow Jones estimate of 250,000 and continuing a strong year of employment growth.
For the week, all three major averages ended in positive territory. The jobs report and a recent decline in commodities prices have made a so-called “soft landing” for the U.S. economy a bit more likely, boosting stocks, said Yung-Yu Ma, chief investment strategist at BMO Wealth Management. Health care stocks were among the outperformers. Centene Corp. and McKesson rose more than 3%, while vaccine makers Moderna and Regeneron each added more than 2%. Electric automaker Tesla jumped 2.5%. Chipmakers and cyber security stocks also boosted the tech sector. ON Semiconductor rose 2.8%, while Fortinet gained 1.8%. Treasury yields jumped sharply after the jobs data was released, which may have limited stock gains. The 2-year Treasury yield held above the 10-year Treasury yield, an inversion many see as a recession indicator. Though the jobs report was a positive sign for the state of the U.S., many investors believe that will aggressively allow the Federal Reserve to fight inflation with rate hikes in the coming months.