Here Are 3 Hot Things to Know About Stocks Right Now

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished higher Friday as a weaker-than-expected jobs report increased chances for another interest rate cut from the Federal Reserve and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell reiterated a pledge to "act as appropriate to sustain" the U.S. expansion.
  • Lululemon Athletica (LULU - Get Report) shares climbed after the sportswear retailer posted stronger-than-expected second-quarter earnings, and boosted its full-year profit forecasts, amid its move into menswear and a renewed push to grow online sales. Lululemon Athletica is Real Money's Stock the Day.
  • New York state's attorney general said that she and other state attorneys general are formally launching an antitrust probe into Facebook (FB - Get Report)  .

Wall Street Overview

Stocks ended mixed Friday as a weaker-than-expected jobs report increased chances for another interest rate cut from the Federal Reserve at its upcoming meeting and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell reiterated a pledge to "act as appropriate to sustain" the expansion of the U.S. economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 69 points, or 0.26%, to 26,797, the S&P 500 rose 0.09%, but the Nasdaq was off 0.17%.

Intel (INTC - Get Report) , Home Depot (HD - Get Report) and Cisco (CSCO - Get Report) led the Dow's advance.

The Dow and S&P 500 both gained at least 1.5% for the week and the Nasdaq advanced 1.8%.

U.S. hiring slowed more than expected last month, even as the U.S. government ramped up hiring of workers for the 2020 Census. Nonfarm payrolls rose by 130,000 in August, the Labor Department said. The jump represented a drop-off from July's jobs growth of 164,000. The payroll growth also was below economists' average forecast for a gain of about 160,000 new jobs.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell addressed the jobs report Friday during his "Economic Outlook and Monetary Policy" speech in Zurich, where he said the U.S. economy remains in a good place and that the August job data was consistent with a strong labor market.

The Fed isn't expecting or forecasting a recession, Powell said, but added that the ongoing trade war between China and the U.S. was weighing down investment decisions from companies.

Powell noted that the Fed is "committed" to "defending" its 2% inflation target -- a sign that the central bank might be inclined to cut interest rates to push up the pace of consumer-price rises.

Ian Shepherdson, chief economist for Pantheon Macroeconomics, said the jobs report's results were "ominous, in more ways than one," adding that "with surveys pointing unambiguously to much slower payroll growth over the next few months, the chance of a sustained rebound is slim."

"The downshift in private jobs between July and August is concentrated in services, with weaker numbers in retailing, wholesaling, finance, business services, education-possibly a seasonal quirk-and health," he said. "These can't all be blamed on the trade war, so we think the odds favor a partial rebound in September. But the trend is softening, as firms scale back hiring plans alongside capital spending, in the face of prolonged and deep uncertainty."

Shepherdson, added that "we expect the Fed to ease this month, but the markets' hopes of endless rate cuts will be hard to meet if inflation is rising and future inflation pressure is building."

A strong private payrolls report from Automatic Data Processing on Thursday suggested that the official U.S. government report on August jobs growth might surprise on the upside.

"Unemployment remains consistent and hourly earnings ticked up, a move we haven't seen in some time," said Mike Loewengart, vice president of investment strategy at E*Trade. "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."

"These wage gains bring the U.S. to a cyclical peak in prime age employment," Tom Kennedy, head trader and portfolio analyst at New England Investment & Retirement Group. "This data reinforces the big picture that the U.S. economy remains on solid footing, albeit showing late cycle dynamics of above-average wage gains."

Speaking on CNBC, Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, said the jobs report was "solid" and added that recent trade talks with China "went very well." Liu He, China's top negotiator on trade, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin held a phone call on Wednesday and agreed to meet in early October for another round of negotiations.

President Donald Trump renewed his call for the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates, and cited TheStreet founder James Cramer on Twitter, while taking yet another dig at Powell.

"I agree with @jimcramer, the Fed should lower rates," Trump wrote. "They were WAY too early to raise, and Way too late to cut - and big dose quantitative tightening didn't exactly help either. Where did I find this guy Jerome? Oh well, you can't win them all!"

I agree with @jimcramer, the Fed should lower rates. They were WAY too early to raise, and Way too late to cut - and big dose quantitative tightening didn't exactly help either. Where did I find this guy Jerome? Oh well, you can't win them all!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 6, 2019

Lululemon Athletica (LULU - Get Report)  rose 7.8% to $203.14 climbed after the sportswear retailer posted stronger-than-expected second quarter earnings, and boosted its full-year profit forecasts, amid its move into menswear and a renewed push to grow online sales. Lululemon Athletica is Real Money's Stock the Day.

New York state's attorney general said she and other state attorneys general are formally launching an antitrust probe into Facebook ( FB - Get Report) ,  placing additional pressure on the social media giant who already is facing intense federal and international scrutiny. Shares were down 1.8% to $187.49.
 

Shares of CrowdStrike (CRWD)  fell 12.5% to $75.98 after the Cloud-based cybersecurity defender reported a fiscal second-quarter loss that was narrower from a year ago and narrower than analysts' forecasts on solid growth in its recurring subscriptions of cloud-based security systems.


Symantec ( SYMC - Get Report) has received interest from private-equity suitors Permira and Advent, seeking to buy the cybersecurity firm for more than $16 billion, after it agreed to a sale of a big chunk of its business, people familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal. Symantec shares closed up 4.5% to $24.52.
 
Domo ( DOMO - Get Report)  shares plunged 37.5% to $15.77 after the cloud software company reported a fiscal second-quarter loss that was narrower than analysts' forecasts but revenue that came up short and a less-rosy outlook for fiscal 2020.

DocuSign ( DOCU - Get Report)  soared 21.7% to $56.27 after the electronic-signature technology company issued strong revenue guidance for the third quarter.
 
Brent crude contracts were up 60 cents to $61.55 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate contracts, which are more tightly linked to U.S. gas prices, were 27 cents higher at $56.57 a barrel.
 

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