CLOSING BELL: September 7th: DJIA: 13,306.64 | UP 14.64 | +0.11%
OIL: $96.32, UP 17.46, +0.83%
GOLD: $1,738.80, UP 33.20, +1.95%
GASOLINE (US Avg): $3.822, DOWN .001
Stocks held steady at four-year highs on Friday, closing out their best week since June as a sharply disappointing jobs report only fueled expectations that the Federal Reserve would act to stimulate the economy next week.
The S&P closed higher but strength in both the Dow and Nasdaq was limited by blue-chips Intel and Kraft, both of which warned on their profit outlooks.
The August nonfarm payrolls report showed job growth of only 96,000, well under the 125,000 expected. That added to hopes the Federal Reserve will announce additional stimulus after its policy meeting ends Thursday, but investors could be in a holding pattern until then.
“There’s no way to sugarcoat how disappointing the jobs number was, and as it reinforces the view the economy is lagging, that puts more pressure on the Fed to act,” said Joseph Tanious, global market strategist at J.P. Morgan Funds in New York.
“I absolutely think stocks still have room to grow from here, but there will certainly be disappointment if we don’t get direction from the Fed next week.”
The expectations for central bank intervention, both from the Fed and the European Central Bank, has fueled a rally that took the S&P 500 to its highest level since January 2008 on Thursday and pushed the Nasdaq to a 12-year high.
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The Common Good publishes a financial market wrap-up every weekday after markets close, available here.