U.S. Stocks End Slightly Higher After Lackluster Session

wallstreet july16 07aug20

U.S. stocks ended slightly higher on Friday after languishing in the red for most part of the day's session.

Investors were following the progress in talks between the Trump administration and Democratic leaders over a new coronavirus relief package, and reacting to reports saying spikes in virus cases in several parts across the world.

Growing uncertainty about a new coronavirus relief plan following the failure of the policymakers to arrive at an agreement rendered the mood cautious on Wall Street.

Tensions between the U.S. and China have escalated following the Trump administration unveiling a ban on U.S. transactions with ByteDance's TikTok and Tencent-owned WeChat.

Data showing a bigger-than-expected increase in U.S. employment in the month of July failed to lift sentiment. The Labor Department's report said employment jumped by 1.8 million jobs in July after surging up by 4.8 million jobs in the previous month. Economists had expected employment to increase by 1.6 million jobs.

The bigger than expected spike in employment came amid a sharp increase in employment in the retail sector, which added 258,300 jobs

The unemployment rate dropped to 10.2 percent in July from 11.1 percent in June. The unemployment rate was expected to dip to 10.5 percent.

While the Dow ended up 46.50 points or 0.17 percent at 17,433.48, extending gains to a sixth session, the Nasdaq snapped a seven-day winning streak as it settled at 11,010.98 with a loss of 97.09 points or 0.87%. The broader S&P 500 index edged up 2.12 points or 0.06 percent to settle at 3,351.28, closing higher for a sixth consecutive day.

American Express (AXP), JP Morgan Chase (JPM) and Goldman Sachs (GS) moved up 2 to 2.8 percent, contributing significantly to Dow's positive close.

On the other hand, Apple (AAPL) declined 2.6 percent, while Microsoft (MSFT), Visa (V), Boeing (BA) and Intel lost 1 to 2 percent.

In overseas trading, Asian stocks closed broadly lower on Friday amid rising tensions between the U.S. and China, after the Trump administration unveiled a ban on U.S. transactions with BygeDance's TikTok and Tencent-owned WeChat. Investors were also cautious with their moves, as they looked ahead to monthly U.S. jobs data.

The major European markets eked out small gains. The pan European Stoxx 600 moved up 0.29 percent. Germany's DAX advanced 0.66 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 and France's CAC 40 both edged up by 0.09 percent, while Switzerland's SMI ended with a slender gain of 0.01 percent.

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