Stock market news live updates: Stocks turn positive as investors weigh strong jobs data

Stocks clawed back into positive territory Friday after opening lower following June employment data that topped expectations.

The US economy created 372,000 jobs in June while the unemployment rate held steady at 3.6% last month, data published Friday morning showed.

The benchmark S&P 500 gained around 0.2% as of 12:00 p.m. ET, while the Nasdaq added .4% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average added around 65 points, or 0.2%. Stocks initially fell following the report.

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 movers in early trading after the video game retailer said Thursday that it terminated its CFO Michael Recupero and revealed plans to slash its workforce as part of a turnaround effort by the company.

Shares fell on Friday morning after gaining 15% Thursday after the company announced a four-for-one stock split earlier this week.

Levi Strauss (LEVI) stock rose 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 (TWTR) shares were down around 4% 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.

TOPSHOT - A man looks at a television broadcast showing news about the attack on former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe earlier in the day, along a street of Tokyo on July 8, 2022. - Shinzo Abe was shot at a campaign event in the city of Nara on July 8, a government spokesman said, as local media reported the nation's longest-serving premier was showing no vital signs. (Photo by Charly TRIBALLEAU / AFP) (Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP via Getty Images)

A man looks at a television broadcast showing news about the attack on former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe earlier in the day, along a street of Tokyo on July 8, 2022. (Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP via Getty Images)

Alexandra Semenova is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alexandraandnyc

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