S&P nabs longest winning streak in over a year as jobs growth tops expectations

Congressional gridlock on COVID-19 relief makes it unlikely a deal can be struck before September

Stocks fought off losses in the final hour of trading and the S&P 500 booked its longest winning streak in over a year as better-than-expected jobs growth overshadowed Congressional gridlock on a new COVID-19 relief package and growing tension between the U.S. and China.

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The S&P 500 eked out a fractional gain of 0.06 percent to extend its winning streak to six days, the longest since April 2019. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 47 points, or 0.17 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.87 percent.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES27584.06+410.10+1.51%
SP500S&P 5003351.6+53.14+1.61%
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX11117.525026+203.96+1.87%

Looking at the economy, U.S. payrolls added 1.763 million workers in July as the unemployment rate fell to 10.2 percent, the Labor Department said Friday. Wall Street analysts surveyed by Refinitiv were expecting the addition of 1.6 million jobs to push the unemployment rate down to 10.5 percent.

Leaders on Capitol Hill remained far apart on a number of key issues for a new COVID-19 relief package hours before Congress was set to recess until Sept. 8.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin called a Democratic proposal to meet in the middle at a package size of $2 trillion a "non-starter." He and Chief of Staff Mark Meadows are expected to recommend President Trump issue executive orders to extend some relief, FOX Business has learned, though how much the White House can accomplish that way is unclear.

In international news, Trump on Thursday evening issued an executive order stating TikTok, a social media app owned by Chinese tech company ByteDance Ltd. that gathers data from its users, would be banned in 45 days if it is not sold to a U.S. company.

Chinese companies traded in the U.S., including Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent Music, all sank.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
BABAALIBABA GROUP HOLDING LTD276.01+4.92+1.81%
BIDUBAIDU INC.126.04+2.25+1.82%
TMETENCENT MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT GROUP14.62+0.12+0.83%

Elsewhere, Apple shares were unable to reach the $467.77 needed for the tech giant to become the world’s second company to reach a $2 trillion market valuation. 

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
AAPLAPPLE INC.114.96+2.68+2.39%
UBERUBER TECHNOLOGIES INC.35.56+1.10+3.19%
ZZILLOW GROUP INC101.16-0.11-0.11%

In earnings, Uber Technologies lost $1.78 billion in the three months through June as the COVID-19 pandemic led to its food-delivery service generating more revenue than its ride-sharing business for the first time.

Zillow reported better-than-expected top- and bottom line results as the work-from-home environment has caused people to rethink their living arrangements. The company, which saw revenue spike 28 percent from a year ago, has resumed its business of buying and selling homes and currently has an inventory of 440.

Looking at commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell 73 cents to $41.40 per barrel while gold dropped to $2,010.10 an ounce. Despite Friday's decline, the precious metal booked its ninth straight week of gains, climbing 2.41 percent.

U.S. Treasurys slipped, causing the yield on the 10-year note to climb 2.7 basis points to 0.562 percent.

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European markets were higher across the board with Germany’s DAX up 0.66 percent while Britain’s FTSE and France's CAC both saw a fractional gain of 0.09 percent.

In Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng led the decline, falling 1.6 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite slid 0.96 percent and Japan’s Nikkei shed 0.39 percent.