A disappointing jobs report led to a not-so-great day on Wall Street. The Dow fell 74 points to 35,369, the S&P 500 slipped a single point to 4,535, and the Nasdaq managed to gain 32 points to 15,363. The Labor Department said Friday that employers added just 235,000 jobs in August, a surprisingly weak gain after two months of robust hiring, at a time when the delta variant’s spread has discouraged some people from flying, shopping, and eating out. The jobs report led investors to question whether the variant is starting to impact economic growth, per the AP. Technology stocks did particularly well last year during the pandemic, so it was unsurprising to see traders move back into those investments again. Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Broadcom, and NetApp were all up 1% or more.
Travel companies were lower. Carnival Corporation was the worst performer in the S&P 500, down 4.7%, followed by its competitor Royal Caribbean, down 4.5%. Las Vegas Sands, Marriott International, and Wynn Resorts were all lower. Friday's weak jobs report could actually benefit stock investors over the longer run, however. The Federal Reserve has indicated it might begin winding down its bond purchases of $120 billion a month that pump money into the financial system until they have more data that the US recovery is on solid footing. The report may help prompt Fed policymakers to delay plans for winding down the central bank's support measures of the economy.
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