U.S. stocks fell on Monday after Friday’s jobs report from the Labor Department showed continued strength in the labor market. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell by 0.9%, while the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined by 0.6% and 0.3% respectively.
Last week, stocks appeared shaky as weak private payrolls and job openings indicated a slowing economy. Stocks rebounded after Friday’s job report, however, with nonfarm payrolls rising by 236,000 in March. In addition, unemployment remained low at 3.5%, while the labor force participation rate hit a post-COVID high of 62.6%.
Although the labor market remained strong, the 236,000 new payrolls added fell short of Wall Street estimates of 240,000 as well as February’s revised 326,000 growth.
“The March jobs report suggests the US labor market is moving into a healthier balance as softer employment growth and cooler wage inflation suggest we’re nearing the end of the Fed’s rate hiking cycle,” Ryan Sweet, Chief US Economist at Oxford Economics, observed.