Fading rate hike relief pushes stocks lower, oil up after jobs report

10/07/2022 | 02:02pm

(Updates with midday pricing)

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Wall Street 2% lower after robust jobs report

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Oil up more than 3% to 5-week high

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Dollar, Treasury yields tick higher

WASHINGTON, Oct 7 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks tumbled on Friday after a stronger than expected jobs report lowered odds the Federal Reserve will ease its rate-hiking spree, while oil prices hit a 5-week high in response to deep supply cuts.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down more than 500 points in midday trading, or 1.9%, with the S&P 500 down 2.55% and the Nasdaq Composite off 3.52% as investors bet the Fed's inflation fight will continue apace.

The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 45 nations, was down 2.23%.

The U.S. Labor Department reported that nonfarm payrolls increased by 263,000 in September - slightly above expectations - with the jobless rate dipping to 3.5%, below forecasts.

The data cemented the view that the Fed and other global central banks have a way to go before easing up on their tightening cycles, after stocks surged earlier in the week on hopes such a pivot may be on the way.

"Todays employment data did little to change the narrative for a Fed committee that has been intensely focused on bringing down inflation," said Charlie Ripley, senior investment strategist for Allianz Investment Management.

"Timing the Feds pivot away from an aggressive policy stance is proving to be difficult and the current conditions in the labor market are certainly not helping the situation."

The likelihood of ongoing interest rate increases helped drive up the dollar and Treasury yields yet again. The dollar index, which tracks the greenback versus a basket of six currencies, was up 0.22%, and the yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes climbed 4.7 basis points to 3.869%.

Markets currently price in a 92% chance of a 75-basis-point increase for next month's Federal Open Market Committee meeting.

Investors will now turn to quarterly corporate earnings kicking off next week, as well as Thursday's update on U.S. inflation.

"The markets negative reaction may be a sign that investors are processing the likelihood that there will be no change in the Feds aggressive playbook in the near term," said Mike Loewengart, head of model portfolio construction at Morgan Stanley's global investment office.

"Keep in mind the next Fed decision isnt until early November so much more data will need to be digested, not least of which is next weeks inflation gauge."

Crude oil continued to ride the announced supply cuts from OPEC+ to a five-week high, shaking off concerns of an economic slowdown.

Brent crude was up 3.81% to $97.99 a barrel and U.S. crude prices were up 4.48% at $92.43 a barrel.

Elsewhere, gold took a hit against the surging dollar, with spot prices falling 0.55% to $1,701.48 an ounce.

(Reporting by Pete Schroeder, Lucy Raitano, Kevin Buckland; Editing by Andrea Ricci, Kirsten Donovan)

Reuters 2022
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