U.S. Stocks Edge Up at End of Big Week
By Anna Isaac and Gunjan Banerji
U.S. stocks wavered Friday but ended the week with gains as the
latest employment report showed the economy added more jobs than
expected last month, though uncertainty surrounding fresh
government stimulus threatened to crimp a recovery.
The S&P 500 edged lower for much of the session before
turning higher late in the day, eking out a slim gain for the sixth
consecutive trading session, the longest such streak since April
Major indexes rose for much of the week, though their big gains
came to a halt ahead of the jobs report and as talks between White
House officials and Democratic leaders on a new coronavirus-aid
package concluded without a breakthrough. On Friday, those talks
were on the brink of collapse.
The latest jobs report showed that employers added 1.8 million
jobs in July and the unemployment rate fell to 10.2%, according to
the Labor Department. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street
Journal had projected that payrolls grew by 1.5 million and that
the unemployment rate dropped to 10.6% from 11.1% in June.
Still, there were concerns that the next aid package wouldn't be
as robust as the first. Fiscal stimulus has been a key driver in
the stock market's dramatic recovery from its March lows, and
worries that lawmakers wouldn't reach a consensus stirred
volatility on Friday, analysts said.
"We have a lot of wood to chop from here," said Chris O'Keefe, a
lead portfolio manager at Logan Capital Management. Still, he said
"I think they have to do something."
The S&P 500 edged up 2.21 points, or 0.1%, to 3351.28. The
Dow Jones Industrial Average added 46.50 points, or 0.2%, to
27433.48. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite shed 97.09 points, or
0.9% to 11010.98, backing away from its record hit Thursday.
The S&P 500 and Nasdaq each added about 2.5% for the week.
The Dow gained 3.8% this week.
Also hanging in the backdrop are tensions between the U.S. and
countries around the globe. Though stocks edged higher, concerns
about the economy and trade were evident in the market for
traditionally safer assets like gold. Front month gold futures
gained $47.30 a troy ounce, or 2.4%, to $2010.10 this week. It was
the ninth consecutive week of gains, the longest such stretch since
President Trump signed executive orders Thursday night that
would bar people in the U.S. or subject to U.S. jurisdiction from
transactions with the China-based owners of WeChat and TikTok,
effective 45 days from Thursday. That essentially imposes a
deadline for an American company to purchase TikTok's U.S.
operations. The orders are likely to be viewed in China as an
attempt to stifle the nation's technology sector.
The orders come as relations deteriorate between the two
countries, prompting speculation that trade among the world's two
largest economies could take a hit.
"China is just about the only bipartisan issue in Washington at
the moment," said James Athey, senior investment manager at
Aberdeen Standard Investments. "The framework of a Cold War,
decoupling and a bi-polar world is the right one to think about. It
won't be possible to straddle both China's and the U.S.'s
In addition, Canada said it would place tariffs on U.S. products
that contain aluminum, after President Trump placed tariffs on some
In corporate news, shares of Uber Technologies fell $1.81, or
5.2%, to $32.90 after the company posted another big loss after
market close Thursday, with little sign of recovery in its core
ride-hailing business as the pandemic drags on.
Overseas, major markets fell. The Shanghai Composite dropped 1%,
while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 1.6% and Japan's Nikkei 225
index dropped 0.4%.
Write to Anna Isaac at firstname.lastname@example.org and Gunjan Banerji at
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
August 07, 2020 17:36 ET (21:36 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.