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Wall St rises on Amazon boost, US jobs growth remains moderate

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Wall Street rose on Friday after data showed the U.S. economy added fewer-than-expected jobs in July, while Amazon’s better-than-expected earnings countered Apple’s tepid sales forecast.

Nonfarm payrolls increased by 187,000 jobs last month, Labor Department data showed. Data for June was revised lower to 185,000 jobs added instead of the previously reported 209,000.

Average hourly earnings grew 0.4% in July, unchanged from the previous month but a tad higher than expectations, spurring worries of more interest rate hikes before the end of 2023. That kept the year-on-year increase in wages at 4.4%.

“Below consensus job growth, combined with higher average hourly earnings signals that more progress is needed to reduce the jobs-workers gap, slow wage growth and ultimately lower inflation,” said Candice Tse, global head of strategic advisory solutions at Goldman Sachs.

“The Fed has likely ended its most aggressive tightening campaign in generations, with a reasonable path to a soft landing.”

Meanwhile, Amazon.com shares AMZN.O surged 9.4% after the company issued an upbeat outlook for the third quarter. Apple’s shares AAPL.O shed 2.7% as the iPhone maker forecast a continued slide in sales.

Shares of peers Microsoft MSFT.O, Alphabet GOOGL.O and Snowflake SNOW.N rose between 2.1% and 5.4% after Amazon’s cloud business segment beat sales estimates.

A Labor Department report on Thursday showed the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits increased slightly last week, while layoffs dropped to an 11-month low in July.

The yield on the 10-year benchmark note US10YT=RR dipped on Friday after the latest jobs data but hovered near the nine-month high it hit, partly due to Fitch downgrading the United States from a AAA rating to AA+ earlier this week.

At 09:36 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 122.46 points, or 0.35%, at 35,338.35, the S&P 500 .SPX was up 25.53 points, or 0.57%, at 4,527.42, and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 129.63 points, or 0.93%, at 14,089.34.

Stocks closed marginally lower on Thursday weighed down by the last batch of economic data and disappointing earnings.

Of the 392 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported quarterly earnings as of Thursday, 79.3% have beat analysts’ estimates, according to Refinitiv data.

Shares of Tupperware TUP.N, known for its plastic airtight storage containers and bowls, rallied 43.8% on Friday after it finalized an agreement with its lenders to restructure its debt obligations in an effort to turn around its business.

Amgen AMGN.O gained 3.8% after it reported a higher quarterly profit on strong sales of its cholesterol, osteoporosis and other drugs.

Sports-betting firm DraftKings’ DKNG.O shares surged 12.7% after it raised its fiscal year 2023 revenue outlook.

Meanwhile, two measures of corporate and economic health were flashing red as shipping group Maersk reported a fall in global demand for sea containers and advertising giant WPP said clients in the U.S. tech sector were slashing their marketing spend.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 2.19-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.73-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 11 new 52-week highs and three new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 23 new highs and 19 new lows.

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