Friday, 4 August 2017

Finance: STOCKS EDGE HIGHER: Here's what you need to know

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US stocks edged higher, back towards record levels, as investors digested monthly jobs data and the latest round of corporate earnings reports.

US stocks edged higher, back towards record levels, as investors digested Friday's montly jobs data release and the latest round of corporate earnings reports.

The S&P 500 added 0.1%, while the Dow climbed 0.2% to a record-high close and the Nasdaq rose less than 0.1%. Government data released Friday morning showed employers steadily added workers in July, while wage growth increased.

First up, the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 22,077.91, +51.70, (+0.23%)
  • S&P 500: 2,475.82, +3.84, (+0.16%)
  • Nasdaq: 6,348.90, +8.51, (+0.13%)
  • US 10-year yield: 2.27%, +0.039
  • WTI crude oil: $49.51, +0.48, +0.98%

1. The monthly jobs report beat expectations, while the unemployment rate returned to a 16-year low. US employers added 209,000 jobs on net, while the unemployment rate returned to a 16-year low of 4.3%, according to the Labor Department's report.

2. The dollar gained sharply after the jobs report. It was a rare day of strength for the greenback, which, through Thursday, had fallen nearly 8% since inauguration day, as President Donald Trump's economic agenda has stalled.

3. Trump and Yellen could derail the red-hot tech trade. That's because the fate of tech stocks — and, by extension, the investment funds that hold them in abundance — is getting increasingly tied to macro factors.

4. Stock pickers are having a record-breaking year. About 58% of large-cap fund managers beat their benchmark in July, marking the fifth straight month in which a majority of them outperformed. That's the longest such streak on record.

5 . Wall Street is bracing for another debt-ceiling debacle. Investors are requiring a higher premium to hold the bills that mature during the weeks in mid-October when the debt ceiling could be breached.

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