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KiplingerAug 04, 2022
Stock Market Today: Stocks End Mixed Ahead of Jobs Day
It was a choppy day of trading on Thursday as investors looked ahead to the market's next big catalyst: the July jobs report, which will be released tomorrow morning.

"The labor market is an extremely critical input in the debate around inflation and how many Fed rate hikes are needed to 'whip it' that has been driving markets," says Brent Schutte, chief investment officer at Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company. 

SEE MORE 10 Dividend Growth Stocks Delivering Impressive Increases In tomorrow's report, "investors will be looking for evidence that the pace of job gains is slowing to a more sustainable pace and/or that more Americans are returning to the labor market," he says. Schutte adds that wage data is another important metric to watch, particularly to see if average hourly earnings start to moderate - something that is needed in order for inflation to push lower. 

Today's weekly jobless claims data gave us a glimpse into the state of the labor market, with initial unemployment claims climbing by 6,000 to 260,000 in the final week of July. 

"With the jobs report coming tomorrow, today's slight uptick in jobless claims isn't likely to be a major market nor Fed mover," says Mike Loewengart, managing director of investment strategy at E*Trade. "Remember that while jobless claims have been slowly rising, the labor market remains robust."

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The market certainly didn't have much of a reaction to today's numbers. The Nasdaq Composite rose a modest 0.4% to 12,720, as shares of Latin American e-commerce concern MercadoLibre (

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