Markets head for losing week after red-hot jobs report

9:40 a.m. ET, January 5, 2024

US stocks struggle for direction after red-hot jobs report

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) during morning trading on January 3, 2024, in New York City. 

Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

US stocks opened mixed on Friday morning after a hotter-than-expected December jobs report.

Markets waffled up and down in the first minutes of trading as traders struggled to find direction following a key Labor Department report that showed the US economy added 216,000 jobs in December. Wall Street had expected 160,000 jobs would be added in the final month of the year.

While a resilient job market is good news for American households, it also signals that the Federal Reserve could hold off on immediate interest rate cuts this year. Financial markets are now factoring in just over a 50% chance of a rate cut at the Fed’s March meeting, down from about 75% one week before the report.

The Dow gained 27 points, or 0.1% on Friday morning. The S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq both gained 0.2%.

Still, the first week of the new year has been rough on Wall Street — both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq are on track to snap their nine-week winning streaks.

Investors, meanwhile, are already looking to next week, when trading activity will pick up as traders’ vacations end and inflation reports are set to be released. Large banks will also kick off the fourth-quarter earnings season on Friday.

JPMorgan Chase’s health care conference and CES also begin next week. These conferences will likely provide some clarity on key themes driving trading in 2024, including consumer spending, GLP-1 weight loss drugs and artificial intelligence.

In corporate news, shares of Peloton jumped 4.2% on Friday after the company announced it will partner with TikTok to bring short workout videos to the platform.

Shares of Costco were up 1.6% after the company announced that its December sales jumped nearly 10% year over year, largely fueled by online purchases.

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