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A Gloomy Day for Wall Street, as US Employment Stats Trigger a Downturn; Apple’s Slump Plays a Role Too

Boy, oh boy, what a turbulent Friday on Wall Street! The market wrapped up the day in the red, dealing a sour blow to investors. It was like a roller-coaster ride, with a sluggish U.S. jobs market casting a shadow over the proceedings. The three major indexes took a tumble for the week, and Apple’s disappointing earnings had investors biting their nails, wondering what other unpleasant surprises might be lurking around the corner.

Apple, the tech giant we all know and love, had a rough day. Their shares tumbled by a whopping 4.8%, the largest slump since last fall. This came on the heels of their gloomy sales outlook, knocking a good 16 points off the S&P 500. That’s a hard pill to swallow for any investor!

But hey, it wasn’t all doom and gloom! played the hero of the day, offering some much-needed relief. The online behemoth’s shares leaped up by 8.3% following an optimistic Q3 forecast, providing an 11-point boost to the S&P 500.

“Major market movers like Apple and Amazon can set investors’ pulses racing, even though the economy and corporate earnings show signs of steady growth,” remarked Greg Bassuk, CEO of AXS Investments, from his office in New York. “Especially as we head into August,” he added.

Trading was as choppy as the sea during a storm, with indexes flirting with gains in the morning before losing their footing and stumbling into negative territory. It was like watching a nail-biting thriller!

Meanwhile, yields on the 10-year U.S. Treasury were playing coy, sliding slightly in the afternoon. “There’s a cloud of uncertainty looming over geopolitical concerns, the war in Ukraine, and issues with China,” Bassuk mused. Friday’s slump, he speculated, was all about investors bracing themselves for the unexpected.

In the world of employment, the U.S. Labor Department reported a disappointing addition of 187,000 jobs in July, while June’s numbers were revised downwards to 185,000. On a brighter note, average hourly earnings saw a 0.4% increase in July, bringing the annual wage growth to a solid 4.4%.

Big Tech had a mixed day at the races. Following Amazon’s cloud business surpassing sales estimates, shares of Microsoft and Snowflake saw a modest and hearty rise, respectively. Yet, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500, and Nasdaq Composite all ended the day with a frown, falling by 0.43%, 0.53%, and 0.32% respectively.

The last week’s dip for S&P and Nasdaq was the steepest since March, with investors cashing out after five straight months of gains. Still, nearly 80% of the companies in the S&P 500 that reported quarterly earnings beat the expectations.

Investors also had to digest the bitter news of Carl Icahn’s investment firm, Icahn Enterprises, slashing its dividend by half, sending its shares into a 23.3% freefall. On the flip side, Tupperware shares took a joy ride, surging 35.5% as the company revamped its debt structure.

All in all, it was a whirlwind day on Wall Street, full of thrills, spills, and chills! Time will tell what the new week brings. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for some more positive news!

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