(News Bulletin 247) – Wall Street evolved without much direction on Friday, investors remaining on reserve in the wake of a mediocre employment report and in prospect for a three-day weekend.

At the end of the morning, the Dow Jones advanced 0.3% to 34,837.3 points, while the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.2% to 14,011.7 points.

The Labor Department announced this morning that the US economy generated 187,000 non-farm payrolls in August, slightly above market expectations of 165,000.

But this monthly employment report also pointed to a rise in the unemployment rate and a slowdown in wage growth, which is behind the persistence of inflation.

The US equity markets initially welcomed these figures, which also seem to rule out the risk that the Federal Reserve will continue its restrictive monetary policy.

This statistic, which comes on top of other indicators that have notably confirmed the sluggishness of the manufacturing industry, also fuels doubts about the economic situation in the United States.

‘This shows that Fed-orchestrated rate hikes are having an effect on activity,’ said one trader.

‘These figures may also mean that the recession that has been predicted for months in the United States is likely to materialize by the end of the year,’ adds another market participant.

These figures have paradoxically caused a rise in the dollar and the yield on ten-year government bonds, which rises above 4.18%.

Wall Street will also be closed on Monday, a public holiday for ‘Labour Day’, which means that many investors are reluctant to take too large positions before leaving for the long weekend.

Over the week as a whole, the Dow has so far gained almost 1.4% and the Nasdaq more than 3.1%.

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