The Dow and broader U.S. stock market showed signs of stabilizing Friday, though volatile tech shares weighed on the Nasdaq.
The Dow and broader U.S. stock market opened higher Friday morning, though slumping tech shares weighed on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq. Investors eyed progress on the labor front as unemployment fell much faster than expected in August.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened higher Friday morning, reflecting a generally upbeat pre-market session for U.S. stock futures. The blue-chip index rallied more than 200 points after the open.
Most of the Dow 30 components reported gains, with JPMorgan Chase and American Express leading the pack. Boeing, Caterpillar, and Travelers also posted sizable gains.
The broad S&P 500 Index of large-cap stocks opened higher but quickly gave up gains. It was last down 0.1%. A volatile technology sector triggered another selloff in the Nasdaq Composite Index, which fell 1.3%.
Slumping tech shares weighed heavily on the major benchmarks Thursday, with the Dow plunging more than 800 points, The CBOE VIX, which tracks expected volatility over the next 30 days, surged to its highest level in nearly three months.
The U.S. labor market continued to recover in August, as employers added 1.371 million workers to payrolls, the Labor Department reported Friday. Unemployment fell to 8.4% in August from 10.2% in July.
Workforce participation improved to 61.7%. Average hourly earnings rose 0.4% on month and 4.7% annually, official data showed.
Over 59 million Americans have filed for unemployment claims since the lockdown began in March. Watch the video below.
Nonfarm payrolls have rebounded in each of the last four months, but a full recovery could be years away. A total of 140.914 million Americans were employed at the end of August compared with 152.463 million in January.
Martha Gimbel, economist at Schmidt Futures, told The Wall Street Journal that,
We are in the hole by millions, and the longer we stay in that hole, the more people will suffer.
Several states remain under partial lockdown due to a resurgence of Covid-19 cases that began in June. More than 44,000 new cases were reported on Thursday, according to Worldometers data.
Last modified: September 23, 2020 2:28 PM