Investing.com -- U.S. stocks wobbled as investors awaited more employment data ahead of key reports on inflation and jobs this week.
Wall Street’s main indices closed with healthy gains Monday, with the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average rising over 200 points or 0.6%, while the broad-based S&P 500 climbed 0.6% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 0.8%.
Powell offers hawkish view at Jackson Hole
These gains represented the second consecutive winning session, something of a rarity during a difficult August, as economic data tended to point to a resilient U.S. economy, opening the possibility of monetary policy remaining tight for longer than expected.
All three indices are on course to post hefty losses this month, with just three sessions left, with the DJIA currently down 2.5%, the S&P down 3.3%, and the Nasdaq 4.3% lower.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell did little to dissuade markets from this “higher for longer” mantra for rates, as he left open the possibility of further rate increases and stressed the U.S. economy’s surprising strength at the Jackson Hole symposium late last week.
Jobs openings data due
Powell also stressed the importance of incoming economic data in helping the U.S. central bank policymakers make monetary policy decisions going forward. With this in mind, investors will have a chance to pick through data on job openings in the U.S. later in the session.
Economists predict that the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey , or JOLTS, will show that the number of available positions dropped to about 9.47 million in July. That would be down from 9.58M in the previous month - the lowest level in more than two years, but still indicative of a tight jobs market.
The JOLTS report will serve as a prelude to the much anticipated publication of the key U.S. nonfarm payroll figures later this week.
Best Buy beats expectations
As far as the corporate sector is concerned, Best Buy (NYSE: BBY ) will be the highlight of the session’s second quarter earnings slate. The electronics retailer beat expectations on the top and bottom lines and the shares rose 4.4%.
Crude firms as Idalia nears Florida
Oil prices firmed Tuesday, as Hurricane Idalia was expected to make landfall in Florida on Wednesday.
This is likely to impact crude production on the eastern side of the U.S. Gulf Coast, causing supply issues in the largest crude consumer in the world.
The industry body American Petroleum Institute is scheduled to release its weekly U.S. inventory forecasts later in the session.
(Peter Nurse and Oliver Gray contributed to this item.)
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