Stocks close flat but rose for the week following a strong June jobs report


U.S. stocks were little changed at the close of a choppy session on Friday following the release of June jobs data that beat expectations.

The US economy added 372,000 jobs in June, while the unemployment rate held steady at 3.6% last month, the Labor Department said Friday morning.

All three major indexes closed near break-even after struggling for direction for much of the trading day, but ended the holiday-shortened week in the green. The benchmark S&P 500 and Dow were each just 0.1% below the flat line, while the Nasdaq Composite closed by the same margin.

Treasury yields were higher, with two-year yields rising to 3.11%, further inverting the yield curve; 10-year yields were trading near 3.01%.

Investors appeared to see Friday’s stronger-than-expected jobs data as a sign that the Federal Reserve will remain steadfast in its plans to raise interest rates aggressively, with another benchmark rate hike of 0.75 percent likely later this month.

Economists polled by Bloomberg expected payroll gains to have come in at 268,000 last month, the smallest since the pandemic recovery but well above the pre-Covid average of about 164,000 a month during 2019. The jobless rate is expected to hold steady at 3.6%.

“June’s employment report showed convincingly that despite growing recession concerns, the labor market remains strong,” Oxford Economics chief economist Kathy Bostjancic wrote in a note to clients following the report.

GameStop ( GME ) shares were among the big movers on Friday after the video game retailer said it fired its chief financial officer, Michael Recuper, and revealed plans to cut its workforce as part of the company’s turnaround efforts.

Shares fell nearly 5%, one day after posting a 15% gain following an announcement earlier this week the company authorized a four-for-one stock split.

Shares of Levi Strauss ( LEVI ) rose after the company reported fiscal second-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ estimates. The denim maker said it earned 29 cents a share on revenue of $1.47 billion, slightly higher than the 23 cents a share on revenue of $1.43 billion that analysts were expecting, according to Bloomberg data.

Shares of Twitter ( TWTR ) fell about 5% after the Washington Post reported that Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s $44 billion deal to buy Twitter was “at risk,” citing three anonymous sources familiar with the matter. One of the people told the newspaper that Musk’s team had “stopped engaging in certain discussions around financing” for the purchase.

Globally, former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated on the campaign trail on Friday. In Japan, the Nikkei index gave up much of its earlier gains to end almost flat on the news. The Nikkei 225 ended up 0.1% at 26,517.19 after rising as much as 1.4% earlier in the session.

TOPSHOT - A man watches a television broadcast showing news of the attack on former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe earlier in the day, along a street in Tokyo July 8, 2022 - Shinzo Abe was shot at a campaign rally in the city of Nara on July 8, a government spokesman said, while local media reported that the country's longest-serving prime minister was showing no vital signs.  (Photo by Charly TRIBALLEAU / AFP) (Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP via Getty Images)

A man watches a television broadcast showing news of the attack on former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe earlier in the day, along a street in Tokyo on July 8, 2022. (Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP via Getty Images)

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Aleksandra Semenova is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alexandraandnyc

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