Stocks stumble and returns volatile after US jobs report as Omicron looms

The DAX chart of the German stock index is pictured on the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany on September 5, 2018. REUTERS / Staff / File Photo

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  • MSCI World Index slips in volatile trade
  • Wall St falls after opening; shares down in Europe
  • US job growth slows; Unemployment rate drops to 4.2%
  • Mixed returns after jobs report, dollar gains
  • Oil rises as OPEC + prepares to act if demand weakens

NEW YORK / LONDON, Dec. 3 (Reuters) – Global equity markets weakened on Friday, as benchmark bond yields dropped their earlier gains after data showed U.S. job growth has slowed considerably in November and markets remained volatile as investors weigh the implications of the new variant of the Omicron coronavirus.

After opening higher, the main Wall Street indices quickly turned negative in morning trading. European markets also lost gains. MSCI’s stock gauge across the world (.MIWD00000PUS) fell 0.52%.

Omicron has gained a foothold in Asia, Africa, the Americas, the Middle East and Europe and has reached seven of South Africa’s nine provinces, where it was first identified. Many governments have tightened travel rules to prevent the variant from entering. Read more

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“The main problem is this whole Omicron variant. There are huge amounts of uncertainty out there, ”said Randy Frederick, vice president of commerce and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin.

“Volatility means big moves back and forth and we’ve had a lot of bull days and a lot of bear days which are both really big here just last week … The market is a little treacherous.”

The Labor Department said the non-farm payroll in the United States increased by 210,000 jobs last month, well below the 550,000 jobs predicted by economists polled by Reuters, but the unemployment rate plunged to 4 , 2%, its lowest in 21 months, suggesting that the labor market is tightening quickly. Read more

“On the surface the numbers were disappointing as they fell short of expectations, but it was not a weak report,” said Kevin Flanagan, head of fixed income strategy at WisdomTree Investments.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) lost 121.78 points, or 0.35%, to 34,518.01, the S&P 500 (.SPX) lost 33.34 points, or 0.73 %, to 4,543.76 and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) fell 244.47 points, or 1.59%, to 15,136.85.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index (.STOXX) lost 0.43%.

The data caps a turbulent week as investors weigh the implications of the Omicron variant and what it means for growth, inflation and, ultimately, central bank policy.

Markets also digested comments earlier in the week from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who said U.S. central bankers would discuss in December whether to end their bond purchases a few months earlier. provided that. Read more

US Treasury yields were mixed in choppy trading after initially falling on closely watched employment data. Read more

The benchmark 10-year notes last rose 7/32 to a return of 1.4257%, down from 1.449% on Thursday night.

The dollar rose after first falling after the jobs report. Read more

The dollar index rose 0.298%, with the euro down 0.19% to $ 1.1278. The Japanese yen weakened 0.02% against the greenback to 113.20 per dollar.

Oil prices have climbed after the producer group OPEC + said it could revisit its policy of increasing production in the short term if demand for oil slumps amid a growing number of pandemic lockdowns. Read more

US crude recently rose 3.11% to $ 68.57 a barrel and Brent was at $ 72.03, up 3.39% on the day.

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Additional reporting by Karen Pierog in Chicago, Dhara Ranasinghe in London, Tom Westbrook in Sydney; Editing by Alison Williams, Kirsten Donovan and Nick Zieminski

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Clifton L. Boyd