Stocks rise and yields fall as fresh data points to cooling job market

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US stocks ended higher while the 10-year Treasury dropped on Tuesday.

Tuesday JOLTS report showed job openings reach the lowest level in over three years.

That eases pressure for the Fed to keep rates elevated.

Major US stock averages ended up on Tuesday as investors took in the latest signs of a cooling economy and bet on the increased likelihood of rate hikes later this year.

Tuesday’s JOLTS report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed US job openings hitting their lowest level in over three years, reaching 8.059 million vacancies in April.

That’s reinforced expectations for the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates, with futures markets now pricing higher odds for a policy pivot in September.

Cooling labor also extended a Treasury rally, with yields on the benchmark 10-year note dropping over seven basis points.

“When the job market was red-hot in 2022, Fed officials were getting concerned that wage-price pressures could cause inflation to accelerate out of control,” Comerica’s chief economist Bill Adams said. “Most labor indicators are pointing to a considerably cooler job market now. That’s why Chair Powell took it in stride when inflation accelerated in the first half of the year, saying that further interest rate hikes were unlikely.”

More labor data is scheduled for Friday, when May’s much-anticipated payroll figures come out. Consensus estimates expect 178,000 jobs to have ben added that month, in line with April figures.

In Bank of America’s view, a reading of 125,000-175,000 would be the optimal range, pointing to continued strength without the need to keep interest rates higher for longer. The bank said a reading in that range would be a catalyst for further stock market gains.

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 4:00 p.m. closing bell on Tuesday:

Here’s what else happened today:

Story continues

In commodities, bonds, and crypto:

West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell 1.2% to $73.3 a barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, inched up 0.4% to $77.62 a barrel.

Gold slumped 1.02% to $2,326 per ounce.

The 10-year Treasury yield dropped seven…

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