The latest on markets and the lower-than-expected job numbers

By Alicia Wallace, Krystal Hur, Bryan Mena and Elisabeth Buchwald, CNN

Updated 4:41 p.m. ET, July 7, 2023
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4:39 p.m. ET, July 7, 2023

Stocks fall for the day and week as investors digest mixed labor data

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on July 7. 
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on July 7.  Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Stocks slid Friday and fell for the week, as a slate of mixed jobs data raised concerns that the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates for longer than expected.

The Dow fell roughly 2% for the week, marking its biggest weekly decline since March. The S&P 500 declined 1.2% and the Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.9%.

Stocks saw most of their declines on Thursday, after payroll processor ADP's latest National Employment Report revealed that US private sector businesses added a significantly higher number of jobs than expected last month.

While the June jobs report showed a cooldown in hiring, average hourly earnings growth held steady and the unemployment rate edged down, indicating that the labor market still remains hot.

Traders remained firm in their expectations that the Fed will raise rates at its next meeting. The CME FedWatch Tool shows a roughly 92% chance that the central bank will hike rates by a quarter point.

The Fed's next meeting takes place July 25 - 26. Before then, the central bank will parse through the Consumer Price Index and Producer Price Index reports for June that are both due next week.

Meanwhile, Rivian shares jumped 14.2% after Wedbush raised its price target for the electric car maker to $30 from $25.

JetBlue Airways shares continued to gain, adding 3.1% on Friday after the company said Wednesday it is terminating its American Airlines partnership to prioritize its purchase of Spirit Airlines.

Bank stocks that were hammered on Thursday rallied. The SPDR S&P Regional Banking ETF rose about 2.4%. JPMorgan Chase shares added 0.8%.

The Dow fell 187 points, or 0.6%.

The S&P 500 slipped 0.3%.

The Nasdaq Composite slid 0.1%.

As stocks settle after the trading day, levels might change slightly.

3:35 p.m. ET, July 7, 2023

Stocks remain muted as investors parse June jobs report

Stocks were mixed late Friday afternoon as investors continued to digest June's mixed jobs report.

The Dow turned negative, dipping 28 points, or 0.08%. The S&P 500 rose 0.3% and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.5%. All three major indexes are on track to lose for the week.

Investors are looking to two key inflation readings, the Consumer Price Index and Producer Price Index reports, for more insight into the Federal Reserve's interest rate trajectory.

Also due next week are housing starts data for June and the University of Michigan's first reading of consumer sentiment for July.

2:54 p.m. ET, July 7, 2023

Is this what a soft landing looks like?

June's job gains may seem paltry by pandemic-era standards — especially since the monthly report has been pumping out totals north of 500,000 jobs — but the labor market remains historically strong.

While inflation is slowly retreating from the scorching highs hit this time last year, unemployment is staying well below 4% despite 10 consecutive interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve.

"With these [209,000 monthly job] gains, which are strong but albeit moderating, it's beginning to look like the Fed may achieve its soft landing," said Joe Brusuelas, chief economist for RSM US.

To stick a soft landing, the Fed is hoping to raise interest rates enough to bring down inflation without triggering a recession (and high unemployment) in the process.

It's been nearly 30 years since the Fed last executed one, and it's not out of the question this time around, even with another potential hike on the table, economists say.

“The job growth is slowing, but I don’t actually think that’s necessarily a bad thing,” Rucha Vankudre, senior economist for labor market analytics company Lightcast, told CNN. “In some ways this is great. We’re continuing to see the soft landing that we’re hoping for.”

1:39 p.m. ET, July 7, 2023

How the Fed views the labor market

The Marriner S. Eccles Federal Reserve Board Building is seen on September 19, 2022 in Washington, DC
The Marriner S. Eccles Federal Reserve Board Building is seen on September 19, 2022 in Washington, DC Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

The Federal Reserve wants to see the labor market slow down broadly, bringing it into "better balance," as Fed Chair Jerome Powell has frequently described it.

That means wage growth would need to cool consistently, monthly payroll growth would need to be close to a range of 70,000 and 100,000 — the smallest job gain needed to keep up with population growth — and unemployment would need to rise, according to economists. Job market conditions don't resemble that just yet.

"This is clearly a very tight labor market, so I expect the Fed to look at this data and say there is justification here for continued small rate increases because the labor market is not cooling enough," Dave Gilbertson, labor economist at payroll software company UKG, told CNN.

Labor costs are higher because of a persistent difficulty in hiring, weighing on labor-intensive service providers such as hospitals and restaurants, which has put upward pressure on consumer prices since businesses typically raise wages to address hiring challenges.

There has been some progress on bringing the job market back into better balance while inflation has come down. Job openings fell to 9.82 million in May, down from a peak of 12 million in March 2022, though they still greatly exceed the number of unemployed people seeking work.

1:33 p.m. ET, July 7, 2023

The June jobs report doesn't change anything for the Fed

An interest rate hike in July seems all but certain after the June jobs report.

Job gains remain robust, wage growth is still going strong, and unemployment continues to hover near historic lows. That means the job market is still fueling demand in the economy, which the Federal Reserve has been trying to slow through rate hikes. And Fed officials have made it clear they think the central bank still has more work to do to bring down inflation which is still running well above the 2% goal.

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Austan Goolsbee, a voting member of the Fed committee that decides interest rates, said in an interview Friday that he sees "a decent chance of further tightening down the pipeline" and that inflation "needs to come down more."

Other Fed officials have struck a similarly hawkish tone on inflation, hinting strongly at a hike in July.

1:42 p.m. ET, July 7, 2023

Stocks move higher in afternoon trading after jobs data shows a slowdown in hiring

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during morning trading on July 6.
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during morning trading on July 6. Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Stocks gained on Friday afternoon after falling initially on June jobs data that showed the labor market has cooled, though wage inflation remains sticky.

The Dow rose 106 points, or 0.3%. The S&P 500 gained 0.6% and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.8%.

The VIX, known as Wall Street's fear gauge, fell to 14.6. It had jumped to roughly 8% to 15 on Thursday, when hotter-than-expected jobs data from payroll processor ADP spooked investors.

Meanwhile, Rivian shares climbed 16.1% after Wedbush raised its price target for the electric car maker to $30 from $25.

Banking stocks that were hammered on Thursday also rallied. The SPDR S&P Regional Banking ETF rose about 3%. JPMorgan Chase shares added 1.7% and Wells Fargo gained 1.2%.

1:24 p.m. ET, July 7, 2023

Where the jobs are

On a percentage basis, education and health services, construction and other services tied for the biggest monthly gains of 0.29%. Meanwhile, mining and logging saw the biggest monthly percentage decline of 0.16%.

1:03 p.m. ET, July 7, 2023

Treasury Department: Homeowner relief funds have so far helped 300,000 keep their home

From CNN's Anna Bahney

Since March 2021, more than 300,000 homeowners avoided foreclosure and were able to stay in their homes due to the Homeowner Assistance Fund, the Treasury Department said Friday.

The HAF provided $9.961 billion to support homeowners facing financial hardship associated with Covid and was passed as part of the American Rescue Plan.

During the first quarter of this year, HAF programs distributed $1.2 billion in assistance to households, a 50% increase over the fourth quarter of 2022.

"The Homeowner Assistance Fund has helped keep hundreds of thousands of families in their homes," said Wally Adeyemo, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury. "As state programs assess their remaining HAF funds, the Treasury Department will continue working with recipients to ensure these funds are swiftly delivered to homeowners most in need."

HAF is a key component of the Biden administration's efforts to help homeowners remain in their homes, which included a foreclosure moratorium, increased options for mortgage payment forbearance, and enhanced loan modifications to resolve delinquencies.

As many foreclosure protections wound down in early 2022, HAF programs stepped in to provide assistance. The combination of these programs has resulted in historically low foreclosure filings. May foreclosure starts were about 35% below pre-pandemic levels, according to Black Knight.

Funds still remain for homeowners struggling, only 14 states and two U.S. territories have expended over 50% of their HAF program funds. For homeowners struggling to make payments, now that many forbearance programs have expired, information on local programs distributing aid can be found here.

11:10 a.m. ET, July 7, 2023

Biden hails June jobs report as "Bidenomics in action"

From CNN's Sam Fossum

President Joe Biden speaks during a stop at a solar manufacturing company that's part of his "Bidenomics" rollout on Thursday, July 6 in West Columbia, S.C.
President Joe Biden speaks during a stop at a solar manufacturing company that's part of his "Bidenomics" rollout on Thursday, July 6 in West Columbia, S.C. Meg Kinnard/AP

President Joe Biden reacted to the latest jobs report numbers Friday morning, saying that they are evidence of “Bidenomics in action.” 

“We are seeing stable and steady growth. That’s Bidenomics—growing the economy by creating jobs, lowering costs for hardworking families, and making smart investments in America,” Biden said in the statement. 

The US added 209,000 jobs, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday, a cooler than expected report and the lowest monthly gain since December 2020.

However, with all three major US indexes falling Friday morning, investors are clearly concerned that the cooling of the economy may not be enough to stop the Federal Reserve from once again raising rates.