Last updated: 04 Sep, 2021 | 10:13 am

US weekly: Indices end mixed as jobs data, macro factors weigh; tech stocks gain

US markets started off the week on a good note on Monday, closing at a fresh high boosted by gains in tech stocks. Investor sentiment remained upbeat after Fed’s dovish comments eased fears of tapering of asset purchases. 

S&P 500 ended slightly lower on Tuesday, after a few macro data points showed that the pace of economic recovery has slowed down a bit. Investors also awaited important jobs data which was to be released later in the week. 

Renewed buying interest in tech stocks took the index to a fresh record high on Wednesday. The indices extended gains on Thursday after higher commodity prices helped energy stocks to recover. The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits also fell to 340,000- the lowest in the pandemic era. 

On the final day of the week, U.S. stock indexes ended mixed.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average posted a weekly loss after monthly employment data from the Labor Department came in far weaker than had been anticipated. The S&P 500 ended the week 0.6% higher. 

Weekly market stats with IND

Let’s see the major developments during the week:

Jobs report mixed: Jobs report indicated that the economic recovery has slowed down. Nonfarm payrolls grew by 235,000 versus consensus expectations for a gain of around 750,000. However, the unemployment rate fell to a new pandemic-era low of 5.2%. While the impact of the delta variant of the coronavirus was clear—hiring in leisure and hospitality ground to a halt in August—analysts pointed out that there are constraints in labor supply rather than lower demand. Further, weekly jobless claims fell again to their lowest level since March 2020. However, markets seemed to view developments favourably, as the Federal Reserve is less likely to begin tapering asset purchases later this year.

Delta variant remains a concern: Covid-19 cases have again come back into focus with the surge on the delta variant in the US. An average of roughly 1.64 lakh coronavirus cases has been reported each day in the United States, an increase of 12% from two weeks ago. Total cases have crossed the 40 million mark. To battle this, the pace of vaccination has also picked up. About 62% of the eligible American population (age 12 and over) are fully vaccinated and another 11% have received the first dose.

Oil prices at one-month high: Oil prices gained the week, to hit a one-month high supported by recent data that showed a sharp drop in U.S. crude inventories. Prices moved up despite a decision by OPEC+ to make no changes to their plan to gradually increase crude production. 

Check out our other analysis on important market developments!

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