S&P500 trades higher as investors looked ahead to US jobs report

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Note: Figures recorded at 7:45am AEDT. The closing figures and video recording will be available at 9:00am AEDT.

The S&P 500 has risen Thursday, attempting to snap a three-day losing streak as traders looked ahead to Friday’s all-important jobs report.

The broad market index climbed 0.8%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 74 points, or 0.2%. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 1.3% as technology stocks outperformed.

Shares of Google-parent Alphabet gained 5.5% as traders cheered the company’s launch of its Gemini artificial intelligence model. Nvidia and AMD also added more than 2% and 9%, respectively.

The moves come after the Dow and S&P 500 on Wednesday both posted their first three-day losing streaks since October. Despite recent performance, the three major indexes remain poised to finish the fourth quarter and calendar year higher, underscoring the strength of the rally seen earlier.

The Nasdaq has also outperformed over the course of the week, gaining 0.2%. The Dow and S&P 500 are on pace to finish the week lower by 0.3% and 0.2%, respectively.

The job market has been a focus of investors this week amid a series of mixed data releases. Weekly jobless claims released Thursday were below economist expectations and a reading of continuing jobless claims declined, indicating that the pace of layoffs hasn’t increased.

The US 10-year Treasury yield initially popped on the back of the figures, reflecting concerns around the strength of the labour market despite the Federal Reserve’s efforts to tame inflation.

Private payrolls data issued on Wednesday showed that employers added fewer positions than economists forecasted.

Meanwhile, the volume of job openings in October fell to its lowest level since March 2021, according to Labor Department data released Tuesday.

It left traders with a confusing picture ahead of the main event: Friday’s official jobs report. Economists polled by Dow Jones expect that 190,000 jobs were added in November, a step up from the prior month. Investors are hoping for signs of cooling in the labour market, leaving the Federal Reserve comfortable with its decision to halt interest rate hikes.

In the Australian landscape, Woodside Energy and Santos are in preliminary talks about a potential merger, which would create a company with a market value of nearly $80 billion. This move reflects the ongoing trend of consolidation among oil and gas producers globally as they face pressure to decarbonize and address challenges in their growth projects, with investors like L1 Capital and others encouraging such discussions.

Figures around the globe

European markets closed lower. London’s FTSE fell 0.02 per cent, Frankfurt lost 0.16 per cent, and Paris closed 0.10 per cent lower.

Turning to Asian markets, Tokyo’s Nikkei fell 1.76 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.71 per cent while China’s Shanghai Composite closed 0.09 per cent lower.

The Australian share market closed 0.07 per cent lower at 7,173.34.

Dividends payable
Beacon Minerals Ltd (ASX:BCN)
Tamawood Ltd (ASX:TWD)
EZZ Life Science Holdings Ltd (ASX:EZZ)

Sources: Bloomberg, FactSet, IRESS, TradingView, UBS, Bourse Data, Trading Economics, CoinMarketCap.

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