January 22, 2022

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US stocks slip after the December jobs report badly misses expectations

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US stocks extended their losses Friday after the December jobs report missed expectations to become the worst month of job creation in the past 12 months.

All indexes lost ground on the last trading day of the week, with high-growth tech stocks leading the downturn as Treasury yields gained. The 10-year Treasury note yield rose to 1.751% from Wednesday’s 1.732% rate. Bond yields move inversely to prices.

Here’s where US indexes stood at 9:30 a.m. ET on Friday:

Stocks were headed for a losing week to start 2022 after hiring faltered again in December 2021 as the Omicron variant fueled another wave of coronavirus cases and economic restrictions. The report was the worst since December 2020 when the country shed 306,000 payrolls.

The US added 199,000 nonfarm payrolls last month, far lower than the 450,000 median forecast estimated by economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The print revealed that hiring slowed in the final weeks of 2021 as coronavirus case counts surged.

November job growth was revised to 249,000 jobs from 210,000, according to the report.

“Friday’s weaker-than-expected jobs report may prompt the Federal Reserve to reconsider some of the hawkish proposals that were mentioned in Wednesday’s minutes report, such as the balance sheet reduction measures,” Jay Pestrichelli, CEO of investment firm ZEGA Financial, said in a note Friday.

He added that the stock market is undergoing “somewhat of a transition right now” after a strong past year. This means more volatility in individual stocks as compared to indeed, he said.

The selling pressure in US equities began on Wednesday when Fed minutes showed policymakers are looking at possible tightening monetary policy faster than anticipated.

“We think markets are overly sensitive to rising rates. But this is not entirely surprising, because rising rates is a change in trend,” Thomas Lee, head of research at Frundtrat, said in a note.

GameStop soared as much as 20% on Friday after a report said the games retailer plans to create a marketplace for non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, and is close to sealing cryptocurrency partnerships.

In cryptocurrencies, bitcoin fell for a sixth straight day and is now trading at $41,667 — a three-month low. A bear market in bitcoin, ether, and other altcoins has driven down the total market capitalization of cryptos to less than $2 trillion.

Oil prices rose. West Texas Intermediate crude added 0.94%, at $80.21 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, tacked on 0.93%, rising to $82.75.

Gold slumped by 0.05% to $1,790.72 per ounce.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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