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Stocks Cap Weekly Gain After Powell, Jobs Data: Markets Wrap

Randall Jensen and Vildana Hajric
Stocks Cap Weekly Gain After Powell, Jobs Data: Markets Wrap

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U.S. stocks eked out a third straight advance, while Treasuries were mixed as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s latest comments did little to alter views on Federal Reserve policy. The dollar fell.

The S&P 500 gained for a second week after the Fed chief’s last comments before the Sept. 18 policy meeting cemented views that the central bank will cut rates. Tech shares weighed on major averages amid fresh antitrust concerns, with the Nasdaq composite ending the day lower. Stocks rose earlier after hiring data signaled a strong labor market that isn’t too strong to deter further easing.

The two-year Treasury yield edged higher, while the 10-year rate fell. The dollar headed for its fourth straight decline. Oil erased losses to turn higher.

“Jobs have been a bit of a roller coaster these past few months. Today’s miss along with downward revisions for the prior two months solidifies that jobs gains are moderating,” said Mike Loewengart, vice president of investment strategy at E*TRADE Financial. “And it’s below expectations and depressed enough to fuel the Fed’s drive to cut rates this month, so in some ways there is something to like for everyone.”

Elsewhere, China cut the amount of cash banks must hold as reserves, injecting liquidity into an economy facing headwinds to growth. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index headed for its biggest weekly advance since June. The pound trimmed some of its recent gains as political turmoil in Britain dragged on.

The Bloomberg Softs Spot Subindex tracking coffee, sugar, and cotton headed for the 10th straight week of declines, the longest stretch since 1991 when the index started.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

The S&P 500 Index rose 0.1% as of 4 p.m. New York time.The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.2%. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 0.3%.The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index fell 0.2%.The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.6%.

Currencies

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.1%.The euro fell 0.1% at $1.1030.The British pound sank 0.4% to $1.2286.The Japanese yen advanced 0.1% to 106.89 per dollar.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell less than a basis point to 1.55%.The yield on two-year Treasuries rose less than one basis point at 1.53%.Germany’s 10-year yield fell three basis points to -0.62%.Britain’s 10-year yield declined nine basis points to 0.511%.

Commodities

Gold rose 0.2% to $1,528.80 an ounce.WTI oil dropped 0.8% to $55.83 a barrel.Brent crude decreased 0.4% to $60.68 a barrel.

--With assistance from Adam Haigh and Laura Curtis.

To contact the reporters on this story: Randall Jensen in New York at rjensen18@bloomberg.net;Vildana Hajric in New York at vhajric1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeremy Herron at jherron8@bloomberg.net, Namitha Jagadeesh

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