U.S. Stocks End the Week Higher

By Akane Otani and Justin Yang Features Dow Jones Newswires

U.S. stocks up after jobs report

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-- Government bond yields rise; gold pulls back

-- Oil hovers near $50 a barrel

The Dow Jones Industrial Average headed toward a weekly gain Friday after the monthly jobs report showed employers continued hiring at a healthy rate in July.

The day's moves put the blue-chip index on track to post its second consecutive week of gains and its eighth straight record close.

U.S. stocks have risen to fresh highs in the second half of the year, bolstered by corporate earnings that have shown broad strength across industries and a brighter global economic outlook. Gains in multinationals that reported strong quarterly results, including Apple and Boeing, helped lift the Dow industrials over 22000 for the first time Wednesday.

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With U.S. economic growth looking slow but steady, strength in earnings will be key to stocks continuing their ascent, investors and analysts say.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was recently up 44 points, or 0.2%, at 22070. The S&P 500 rose 0.1%, up slightly for the week. The index was on track for its 12th consecutive session without a daily move of at least 0.3% in either direction -- its longest such streak on record.

The Nasdaq Composite added 0.1%, but was headed toward a weekly loss.

Hiring in July Was Better Than Expected

Friday's monthly jobs report was the latest news to show the labor market continuing to be a bright spot in the U.S. economic recovery.

Nonfarm payrolls rose by a seasonally adjusted 209,000 in July, the Labor Department said Friday, more than the 180,000 that economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected. Another highlight from the morning's jobs report: labor-force participation rose while the unemployment rate declined.

"Usually there are questions around whether unemployment is just a function of stagnant labor-force participation, but both of these things happening at the same time -- that's a fairly encouraging sign," said Victor Jones, director of trading at TD Ameritrade.

Continued signs of strength in the labor market should bode well for stock gains and keep the Federal Reserve on track to raise rates once more by the end of the year, analysts say.

Fed-funds futures, used by investors to bet on the U.S. interest-rate outlook, recently showed a 50% chance the Fed raises rates by the end of the year, according to CME Group data.

Bond Prices, Gold Fall

Government bonds and gold, which tend to be sensitive to expectations around the Fed's interest-rate path, retreated following the jobs report.

Higher rates tend to reduce the appeal of long-dated government debt.

Government-bond prices fell, with the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note climbing to 2.269% from 2.230% Thursday. Yields rise as bond prices fall.

Gold also pulled back, with contracts for August delivery losing 0.7% to $1258.30. Prices for gold tend to fall when investors expect tightening monetary policy because the metal struggles to compete with yield-bearing assets.

Oil Higher Ahead of OPEC Meeting

Crude for September delivery rose 1.1% to $49.58 a barrel ahead of a planned meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries next week in Abu Dhabi.

Hopes that OPEC could chip away at a global glut have helped oil rise in eight of the past 10 trading sessions, although skepticism that the cartel will be able to hold down output has kept prices in a tight range this week.

Write to Akane Otani at akane.otani@wsj.com

-- S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average post weekly gains

-- Treasury yields rise, gold pulls back

-- Oil hovers near $50 a barrel

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the week at a fresh record, buoyed by a jobs report that showed employers continued hiring at a healthy rate in July.

Corporate earnings that have shown broad strength across industries and a brighter global economic outlook have kept stocks climbing in the second half of the year.

Gains in multinationals that reported strong quarterly results, including Apple and Boeing, helped lift the Dow industrials over 22000 for the first time Wednesday.

With U.S. economic growth looking slow but steady, strength in earnings will be key to stocks continuing their ascent, investors and analysts say.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 66.71 points, or 0.3%, to 22092.81 -- its eighth straight closing record. The blue-chip index added 1.2% on the week.

Gains in shares of financial companies helped the S&P 500 eke out a gain. The S&P 500 rose 4.67 points, or 0.2%, to 2476.83 and finished up 0.2% from the previous Friday, led by a 1.8% weekly gain in its financial sector.

It was the 12th consecutive session for the S&P 500 without a daily move of at least 0.3% in either direction -- its longest such streak on record.

The Nasdaq Composite added 11.22 points, or 0.2%, to 6351.56, but ended down 0.4% on the week.

Hiring in July Was Better Than Expected

Friday's monthly jobs report was the latest data to show that the labor market continues to be a bright spot in the U.S. economic recovery.

Nonfarm payrolls rose by a seasonally adjusted 209,000 in July, the Labor Department said Friday, more than the 180,000 that economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected. Another highlight from the morning's jobs report: labor-force participation rose while the unemployment rate declined.

"Usually there are questions around whether unemployment is just a function of stagnant labor-force participation, but both of these things happening at the same time -- that's a fairly encouraging sign," said Victor Jones, director of trading at TD Ameritrade.

Continued signs of strength in the labor market should bode well for stock gains and keep the Federal Reserve on track to raise rates once more by the end of the year, analysts say.

Fed-funds futures, used by investors to bet on the U.S. interest-rate outlook, recently showed a 50% chance the Fed raises rates by the end of the year, according to CME Group data.

Government Bond Prices, Gold Fall

Government bonds and gold, which tend to be sensitive to expectations around the Fed's interest-rate path, retreated following the jobs report.

U.S. government-bond prices fell, with the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note climbing to 2.269% from 2.230% Thursday. Higher interest rates tend to reduce the appeal of long-dated government debt.

Gold also pulled back, with contracts for August delivery losing 0.7% to $1,258.30. Prices for gold tend to fall when investors expect tightening monetary policy because the metal struggles to compete with yield-bearing assets.

Oil Higher Ahead of OPEC Meeting

U.S. crude oil for September delivery rose 1.1% to $49.58 a barrel ahead of a planned meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries next week in Abu Dhabi.

Hopes that OPEC could chip away at a global glut have helped oil rise in eight of the past 10 trading sessions, although skepticism that the cartel will be able to hold down output kept prices in a tight range during the week.

Write to Akane Otani at akane.otani@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 04, 2017 17:34 ET (21:34 GMT)