(RTTNews) – After moving to the downside early in the session, the major U.S. stock indexes are turning in a mixed performance in afternoon trading on Friday. While the Dow has rebounded into positive territory, the Nasdaq remains firmly in the red.
Currently, the major averages remain on opposite sides of the unchanged line. The Dow is up 87.51 points or 0.2 percent at 36,323.98, but the Nasdaq is down 106.54 points or 0.7 percent at 14,974.33 and the S&P 500 is down 8.86 points or 0.2 percent at 4,687.19.
The mixed performance on Wall Street comes following the release of the Labor Department’s closely watched monthly jobs report.
While the report showed much weaker than expected job growth in the month of December, the unemployment rate still fell by more than expected.
The report said non-farm payroll employment rose by 199,000 jobs in December after climbing by an upwardly revised 249,000 jobs in November.
Economists had expected employment to jump by 400,000 jobs compared to the addition of 210,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.
Despite the weaker than expected job growth, the unemployment rate slid to 3.9 percent in December from 4.2 percent in November. The unemployment rate was expected to edge down to 4.1 percent.
With the bigger than expected decrease, the unemployment rate fell to its lowest level since hitting 3.5 percent in February of 2020.
Economists have suggested the drop in the unemployment rate will be enough to keep the Federal Reserve on track to raise interest rates in the coming months.
Traders subsequently seem concerned the Fed will be raising rates at a time of slowing economic growth as a result of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
The minutes of the latest Fed meeting suggested the central bank could begin raising interest rates and shrinking its balance in the near future in an effort to combat elevated inflation.
Housing stocks have moved sharply lower amid concerns about the impact of higher interest rates, resulting in a 2.8 percent nosedive by the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index.
Substantial weakness also remains visible among semiconductor stocks, as reflected by the 2.4 percent slump by the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index.
On the other hand, airline stocks have shown a significant move to the upside on the day, with the NYSE Arca Airline Index soaring by 3.2 percent.
Banking, steel and energy stocks are also seeing considerable strength on the day, although the strength among energy stocks comes despite a pullback by the price of crude oil.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Friday. China’s Shanghai Composite Index slipped by 0.2 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped by 1.8 percent.
The major European markets also ended the day mixed. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index rose by 0.5 percent, the French CAC 40 Index fell by 0.4 percent and the German DAX Index slid by 0.7 percent.
In the bond market, treasuries have climbed well off their worst levels but remain in the red. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 2.5 basis points at 1.758 percent.