After seesaw trading, the stock market closed mixed Friday after the monthly employment report showed stronger-than-expected job growth in June. Health care stocks led, with managed-care provider Humana (HUM), vaccine maker Moderna (MRNA) and Leaderboard stock UnitedHealth Group (UNH) among the top gainers.
The Nasdaq inched higher 0.1%, the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average both fell 0.1%. The small-cap Russell 2000 was flat.
Volume fell on the Nasdaq and the NYSE compared with the same time on Thursday, early data showed.
Most of the S&P sectors traded down or flat, with the exception of health care. The Health Care Select Sector SPDR (XLV) climbed 0.4%.
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The economy created 372,000 jobs last month, much higher than the Econoday consensus of 270,000. The unemployment rate stayed at 3.6% for the fourth straight month. Average hourly earnings rose 0.3% from May, in line with estimates. Year over year, wages increased 5.1%, slightly ahead of the 5% consensus.
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“The employment report for June came in much stronger than expected with nonfarm payroll additions well above consensus,” said Charlie Ripley, Senior Investment Strategist at Allianz Investment Management. “While many participants were looking for a broader slowdown in hiring last month, the reality is the demand for labor remains strong and absent a meaningful decline in hiring, it is hard to envision the economy is on the brink of recession. Overall, today’s report simply means the Fed still has more work to do with regards to policy rates to cool demand in the economy and a 75 basis point rate hike is almost a certainty at this point.”
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note climbed 8 basis points to 3.08%.
The price of U.S. crude oil rose 2% to nearly $105 a barrel.
The Innovator IBD 50 ETF (FFTY) fell 0.1%.
Next week kicks off earnings season, with big banks including JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Morgan Stanley (MS) announcing on Thursday.
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Enphase Energy (ENPH) led the S&P 500, up 4.4%. Enphase is prone to volatile price swings, but it’s in position for another breakout try over a 217.33 alternate entry.
Tesla (TSLA) jumped 2.6% and above its 50-day line, helped by news that the company sold 78,906 China-made vehicles in June, up 145% from May.
Health Care Gains
UnitedHealth joined Leaderboard on June 27 when it topped the 500 level. The health insurer cleared a cup-with-handle base today, rising 0.9%. It’s still in the 5% buy zone from the 518.30 entry, but earnings are due late next week.
Covid vaccine stocks Novavax (NVAX) and Moderna (MRNA) surged to three-month highs Friday on growing enthusiasm for an omicron booster campaign in the fall. The Food and Drug Administration recently asked vaccine makers to tailor their next boosters for the new dominant sub-variants, dubbed B.A.4 and B.A.5. Both are offshoots of the omicron strain.
Centene (CNC), a managed health care company, closed up 3.3% and breaking out of a double-bottom base on the MarketSmith chart. The stock hit the 87.44 buy point and is in the 5% buy zone to 91.81.
Humana (HUM) remains in the buy range from a buy point of 475.54, although 469.44 was an earlier, viable entry.
Follow Michael Molinski on Twitter @IMmolinski
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