S&P drops as strong jobs data raise rate hike fears, techs buoy Nasdaq - Metro US

S&P drops as strong jobs data raise rate hike fears, techs buoy Nasdaq

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., August 31, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
By Shreyashi Sanyal

By Shreyashi Sanyal

(Reuters) – The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq rose on Friday morning, rebounding from losses after strong August jobs data, helped by optimism around the trade dispute with China and a rebound in chipmakers.

President Donald Trump will not make any decisions on his threatened tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods before officials evaluate public comments, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said, easing fears that tariffs would take effect after the public comment period ended at midnight.

“Kudlow’s comments could possibly have triggered an upward move because the markets are hoping for a quick resolution to the Chinese trade issue, but in the short term at least we are not going to see any deal with China,” said Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer at Independent Advisor Alliance in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The S&P technology index was up 0.50 percent as internet stocks rose after two days of losses – Facebook was up 0.6 percent and Twitter 0.8 percent – and semiconductor stocks gained.

The Philadelphia SE Semiconductor index was up 0.82 percent. Broadcom was up 7.7 percent, the most on the S&P, after a strong current-quarter revenue forecast.

Marvell Technology rose 3.7 percent after raising its forecast for synergies around the Cavium acquisition that analysts said removed risks around further growth.

Tesla slid 4.8 percent as its chief accounting officer resigned after just a month and a second senior executive was reported to be leaving as well, hours after Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk smoked marijuana on a live webcast.

At 11:39 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.61 points, or 0.00 percent, at 25,995.26, the S&P 500 was up 5.21 points, or 0.18 percent, at 2,883.26 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 37.56 points, or 0.47 percent, at 7,960.29.

The markets had opened lower after a strong August nonfarm payrolls report that showed job growth accelerated and wages recorded their largest annual increase in nine years, leading to jitters about the pace of interest rate hikes.

After opening higher, the financial sector was trading flat. Zaccarelli said the reversal could be due to some pessimism on whether economic growth would be derailed if the Federal Reserve raised rates too quickly.

Seven of the 11 major S&P indexes were lower, with losses led by the defensive real estate index’s 1 percent slide and the utilities sector’s 0.72 percent drop.

Barnes & Noble jumped 12 percent after investor Richard Schottenfeld disclosed a bigger stake and said he had discussed a possible sale of the bookseller with its founder and chairman.

Mattel gained 3.3 percent after the toymaker announced plans to produce motion pictures based on its franchises. Rival Hasbro was up 0.2 percent.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.47-to-1 ratio on the NYSE, and advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 1.29-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 34 new 52-week highs and 15 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 86 new highs and 50 new lows.

(Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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