The Dow Jones Industrial Average was straddling the flat line on Friday, pressured by profit-taking in the banking sector, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq were enjoying their first positive day in the past three days as Wall Street digests a mixed employment report.
The economy created 178,000 new jobs last month, slightly ahead of projections for a gain of 170,000, while the jobless rate fell to a 9-year low of 4.6%. But average hourly earnings contracted by 0.1%, a sign that economic growth could be impeded by the dearth of disposable income.
Related markets underscore the reversal on Wall Street. Treasury yields are lower after two consecutive days higher with the yield on the 10-year note down 6 basis points to 2.83%. Gold is higher, snapping a three day losing streak that drove the precious metal to its lowest level since February.
In corporate news, Starbucks (SBUX) has been under pressure since CEO Howard Shultz announced his resignation after the close on Thursday. He will be succeeded by chief operating officer Kevin Johnson, but remain on as executive chairman as the company explores the high-end coffee shop segment.
European shares were mostly flat as investors turned cautious ahead of Sunday’s referendum in Italy and Austrian presidential election. Italians will vote on whether or not to alter their constitution to give more power to the prime minister, with a yes vote seen as favorable for beleaguered Italian banks. PM Matteo Renzi has said he will resign if the measure is voted down.