Stock Market Today: Global Stocks Mixed Ahead of Key US Jobs Data

HONG KONG (AP) — Global stocks were mixed Friday after a flat Thursday on Wall Street as markets anticipated the release of key U.S. jobs data later in the day.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 were up less than 0.1%.

European stocks fell in early trading after the European Central Bank cut its key interest rate by a record 4% on Thursday, leaving uncertainty over the next policy decision. France’s CAC 40 fell 0.4% to 8,006.66 and Germany’s DAX fell 0.4% to 18,571.98. The British FTSE 100 index fell 0.3% to 8,257.46.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index edged down 0.1% to 38,683.93 after data on Friday showed household spending in April was up 0.5% year on year. It is the first increase since February 2023 and is a key indicator for assessing the country’s economy as central bank officials prepare to hold a policy meeting next week.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.6% to 18,366.95, while the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.1% to 3,051.28, as Chinese trade data showed exports in May grew faster than expected to 7.6% from a year earlier, while imports were weaker than the market. forecasts.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.5% to 7,860.00. South Korea’s Kospi jumped 1.2% to 2,722.67.

The S&P 500 barely moved Thursday, a day after hitting a record high for the 25th time this year. It fell less than 0.1% to 5,352.96. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.2% to 38,886.17, while the Nasdaq composite slipped 0.1% to 17,173.12 after hitting its own record.

Big Lots fell 18.2% after reporting a wider-than-expected loss for the latest quarter. The retailer said it missed its sales targets because its customers continue to cut back on spending, especially on things that are not essential.

Shares of another retailer, Five Below, fell 10.6%. Its earnings and revenue last quarter fell short of analysts’ expectations, and CEO Joel Anderson said challenges faced by the company’s core low-income customers weighed on results, although company has seen strong growth from higher income customers.

Many retailers and other businesses have highlighted a divide between their lower- and higher-income customers. Inflation particularly hits the poorest people, who are struggling to cope with a cost of living that continues to rise, even if inflation is not as rapid as before. This threatens to shatter a pillar that has allowed the US economy to emerge from recession despite high interest rates: strong US household spending.

Another factor that has helped U.S. consumer spending stay so strong is the remarkably strong job market. A report released Thursday also showed some potential slowdown.

The US government will release its monthly report on labor market developments later on Friday. Economists expect a slight acceleration in hiring and average hourly wage gains from the previous month.

In other trading, U.S. benchmark crude oil lost 22 cents to $75.33 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Brent crude, the international standard, fell 25 cents to $79.62 a barrel.

The U.S. dollar fell to 155.40 Japanese yen from 155.68 yen. The euro cost $1.0886, up from $1.0888.

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