Marketbites: Markets Slip After Jobs Data
Portfolio Manager Commentary:
Stocks fell Thursday after jobs data showed the labor market is still strong amid the Federal Reserve’s efforts to slow the economy. Wages also increased more than anticipated, another sign that the labor market remains hot. This tells investors there is more risk that interest rates may continue rising for a longer period.
Stocks rose from lows of the day in the afternoon but remained down when St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard said that 2023 may be a disinflationary year in a speech. He also noted that while the current policy isn’t “sufficiently restrictive,” it’s moving in that direction and should reach it this year.
Later today, the December jobs report will be released for updated data on employment and hourly wages. Economists estimate that U.S. employers added some 200,000 jobs in December, which would represent a moderate slowdown from gains in the previous month.
Chart of the Day:
Shares of Conagra Brands rose Thursday as the food company said it expects higher sales and earnings this year while reporting a revenue increase of more than 8% in the latest quarter. Despite the broader markets retreating, Conagra's stock rose over 3%. It was one of only a handful of stocks in the S&P 500's consumer staples sector to be in the green—another being potato producer Lamb Weston.