Stocks closed mostly lower Friday following a strong June jobs report, while still posting gains in the first full trading week of July. The U.S. economy added a stronger than expected 372,000 jobs in June, and the unemployment rate held steady at a healthy 3.6%, giving the Fed no reason to deviate from its plan for aggressive rate hikes.
Investors may have backed off a bit from overriding recession fears, as the strong jobs report and a recent sharp decline in prices for oil and other commodities allowed for a somewhat higher possibility that the U.S. economy could achieve a soft landing.
The three major market indices finished higher for the week, with the Nasdaq Composite jumping 4.6%, the S&P 500 gaining 1.9%, and the Dow Jones edging 0.8% higher. Next week starts second quarter earnings reports, and investors will examine the effects of commodity price and shipping cost pressures on companies’ profit margins.vc