Stock Market Today

Stock Market Today: Stocks End Mixed Ahead of Jobs Day

A solid earnings report for MercadoLibre (MELI) kept the Nasdaq above water on Thursday.

It was a choppy day of trading on Thursday as investors looked ahead to the market's next big catalyst: the July jobs report, which will be released tomorrow morning.

"The labor market is an extremely critical input in the debate around inflation and how many Fed rate hikes are needed to 'whip it' that has been driving markets," says Brent Schutte, chief investment officer at Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company. 

In tomorrow's report, "investors will be looking for evidence that the pace of job gains is slowing to a more sustainable pace and/or that more Americans are returning to the labor market," he says. Schutte adds that wage data is another important metric to watch, particularly to see if average hourly earnings start to moderate – something that is needed in order for inflation to push lower. 

Today's weekly jobless claims data gave us a glimpse into the state of the labor market, with initial unemployment claims climbing by 6,000 to 260,000 in the final week of July. 

"With the jobs report coming tomorrow, today's slight uptick in jobless claims isn't likely to be a major market nor Fed mover," says Mike Loewengart, managing director of investment strategy at E*Trade. "Remember that while jobless claims have been slowly rising, the labor market remains robust."

Sign up for Kiplinger's FREE Investing Weekly e-letter for stock, ETF and mutual fund recommendations, and other investing advice.

The market certainly didn't have much of a reaction to today's numbers. The Nasdaq Composite rose a modest 0.4% to 12,720, as shares of Latin American e-commerce concern MercadoLibre (MELI, +16.2%) soared on a solid Q2 earnings report. The S&P 500 Index slipped 0.1% to 4,151, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.3% to 32,726, as Walmart (WMT) fell 3.7% on news the mega-retailer is cutting 200 corporate positions.

stock price chart 080422

YCharts

Other news in the stock market today:

  • The small-cap Russell 2000 gave back 0.2% to end at 1,906.
  • U.S. crude futures slumped 2.3% to $88.54 per barrel, their lowest settlement since Feb. 2.
  • Gold futures rose 1.7% to finish at $1,806.90 an ounce.
  • Bitcoin fell 4.3% to $22,455.60. (Bitcoin trades 24 hours a day; prices reported here are as of 4 p.m.)
  • The Bank of England (BOE) this morning raised its interest rates by 50 basis points (a basis point is one-one hundredth of a percetage point), the biggest increase since 1995. However, the central bank's "commentary was more concerning with expectations for a 'long recession,' and expectations for inflation to climb much higher before it begins to pull back," says Quincy Krosby, chief global strategist for independent broker-dealer LPL Financial. "The market is now expecting a series of rate hikes as the BOE launches an aggressive campaign to curtail an entrenched inflationary backdrop. Moreover, the BOE move in rates, coupled with its downcast commentary, comes amid a political vacuum."
  • Coinbase Global (COIN) jumped 10.0% after the cryptocurrency exchange said it is partnering with BlackRock (BLK, +0.8%) to make bitcoin available to the asset manager's institutional investors. "This is much needed positive news for crypto traders and should provide some optimism for the longer-term health of the cryptoverse," says Edward Moya, senior market strategist at currency data provider OANDA.
  • Crocs (CROX) plunged 10.7% after the plastic shoemaker reported earnings. In its second quarter, CROX brought in adjusted earnings of $3.24 per share on revenue of $964.6 million, more than analysts were expecting. However, the company lowered its full-year sales forecast. Still, CFRA Research analyst Zachary Warring maintained a Strong Buy rating on CROX. "We see tons of upside in CROX and expect strong cash flow from both brands allowing them to pay down debt significantly," the analyst says.

Fidelity's Best Actively Managed Funds

2022 has been a stock picker's market. But researching individual stocks that may or may not outperform the broader market isn't for the faint of heart – and sometimes it's just easier to leave the driving to the pros. 

Enter Fidelity, which is one of the premier low-cost mutual fund providers around whose portfolio managers celebrate the art of stock picking. Indeed, each spring, they hold friendly competitions to see who can come up with the best investment ideas. 

Thankfully for investors, there's no shortage of Fidelity funds to choose from. In fact, often the hardest part in choosing a mutual fund is sifting through the onslaught of options available to find one that works best for your personal investing goals. Here, we've compiled five of the best actively managed Fidelity funds that cover a variety of strategies – any one of which should serve you well for the remainder of 2022 and beyond.

Most Popular

Are You Rich? The Answer May Surprise You
personal finance

Are You Rich? The Answer May Surprise You

Whether you are considered rich depends on how you measure it – and the bar for that is changing. Have a look at the numbers that define who's wealthy…
August 12, 2022
Your Guide to Roth Conversions
Special Report
Tax Breaks

Your Guide to Roth Conversions

A Kiplinger Special Report
February 25, 2021
Save More on Green Home Improvements Under the Inflation Reduction Act
Tax Breaks

Save More on Green Home Improvements Under the Inflation Reduction Act

Tax credits for energy-efficient home improvements are extended and expanded by the Inflation Reduction Act.
August 17, 2022

Recommended

Stock Market Today (8/18/22): Stocks Struggle for Direction After Mixed Data
Stock Market Today

Stock Market Today (8/18/22): Stocks Struggle for Direction After Mixed Data

Existing home sales fell for a sixth straight month in July, while the latest jobs data pointed to a stable labor market.
August 18, 2022
Stock Market Today (8/17/22): Stocks Drop After Target Earnings, Fed Minutes
Stock Market Today

Stock Market Today (8/17/22): Stocks Drop After Target Earnings, Fed Minutes

The major indexes fell after Target (TGT) reported plunging profits in Q2, and failed to recover after the release of the Fed's July meeting minutes.
August 17, 2022
The Strong Dollar’s Winners and Losers
Foreign Stocks & Emerging Markets

The Strong Dollar’s Winners and Losers

The greenback’s rise may hurt companies with a global footprint, but benefit those that depend on imports.
August 17, 2022
What Retail Earnings Say About the Consumer
stocks

What Retail Earnings Say About the Consumer

The latest batch of retail earnings point to a resilient consumer in these high-inflation times, analysts say.
August 17, 2022