The stock markets in the United States ended the trading down as investors resumed selling their stockholdings in biotechnology and commodity companies.

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Yesterday, the equity markets were negatively impacted by the slumped of equities of media companies such as Viacom and Twenty-First Century Fox as investors were not pleased with financial results.

Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities told Bloomberg, “I’m not surprised to see the market down given the downward bias we’ve seen the last couple of days. If anything, the report slants the bias towards a September rate hike, given the strength of the jobs numbers.”

Today, the Department of Labor reported that the economy added 215,000 jobs last month, and the unemployment rate remained at 5.3%. The agency also reported that the average hourly earnings increased 2.1%.

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Bob Baur, chief global economist at Principal Global Investors commented that the jobs report will not deter the Federal Reserve from raising interest rates in September.

The Federal Reserve wants to see further improvement in the labor market and a return of inflation to its 2% target to justify an interest rate hike. Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics, said the job growth is “rock solid” and it is “More than sufficient to continue to chip away at the slack that’s left in the job market.”

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) – 17,373.98 (-0.26%)
  • S&P 500- 2,077.69 (-0.28%)
  • NASDAQ- 5,043.54 (-0.26%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,205.87 (-0.82%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,637.80 (-0.84%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,718.49 (-0.42%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 11,490.83(-0.81%)

Asia-Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 20,724.56 (+0.29%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 24,552.47 (+0.73%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 3,906.96 (+1.96%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of American Express climbed more than 6% to 79.87 per share driven by the report that ValueAct Capital Management acquired a huge stake in the company. People familiar with the matter said the activist hedge fund plans to pursue shareholder-friendly changes in the business operations of American Express.

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals plummeted more than 23% to $10.90 per share. The company’s stock regained more than 5% of losses during the extended trading to $11.48 per share after reporting its financial results for the second quarter. BioCryst posted earnings of $0.07 per share on $25.8 million revenue. During the same period a year ago, the company recorded losses of $0.23 per share on $1.5 million in revenue.

CF Industries Holdings declined more than 6% to $58.94 per share. The company signed an agreement to acquire the North American and European assets of OCI NV for approximately $8 billion in cash and stock.

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