U.S. stocks were little changed at the close of a choppy session Friday following the release of June employment data that topped expectations.
The U.S. economy created 372,000 jobs in June while the unemployment rate held steady at 3.6% last month, the Labor Department reported Friday morning.
All three major indexes closed near breakeven after struggling for direction during much of the trading day but capped the holiday-shortened week in the green. The benchmark S&P 500 and Dow were each just about 0.1% below the flatline, while the Nasdaq Composite closed in the green by about .1%.
Treasury yields were higher, with two-year yields rising to 3.11%, further inverting the yield curve; 10-year yields were trading near 3.01%.
Investors seemed to take Friday’s stronger-than-expected jobs data as a sign the Federal Reserve will remain resolute in its plans to aggressively raise interest rates, with another 0.75% increase in its benchmark rate likely coming later this month.
Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected payroll gains would total 268,000 last month, the smallest of the pandemic recovery but well above the pre-COVID average of about 164,000 per month throughout 2019. The unemployment rate was forecast to hold steady at 3.6%.
“The June employment report reassuringly showed that despite increasing recession concerns, the labor market remains strong,” Oxford Economics Chief U.S. Economist Kathy Bostjancic wrote in a note to clients following the report.
GameStop stock (GME) was among big movers Friday after the video game retailer said that it terminated its CFO Michael Recupero and revealed plans to slash its workforce as part of a turnaround effort by the company.
Shares closed down nearly 5%, one day after notching a 15% gain following an announcement earlier this week the company approved a four-for-one stock split.
Levi Strauss stock (LEVI) rose 1% after the company reported earnings for the fiscal second-quarter that beat analyst estimates. The denim apparel maker said it earned 29 cents per share on revenue of $1.47 billion, slightly higher than 23 cents per share on revenue of $1.43 billion analysts had expected, according to Bloomberg data.
Twitter stock (TWTR) fell 5.1% after the Washington Post reported Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s $44 billion deal to buy Twitter was “in peril,” citing three anonymous sources familiar with the matter. One of the people told the newspaper Musk’s team has “stopped engaging in certain discussions around funding” for the acquisition.
On the global front, former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated during a campaign event on Friday. In Japan, the Nikkei index shed much of its earlier gains to end nearly flat following the news. The Nikkei 225 closed up 0.1% at 26,517.19 after climbing as much as 1.4% earlier in the session.
Alexandra Semenova is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alexandraandnyc