Markets mixed ahead of Friday’s jobs report: There’s a new meme stock in the market

The Dow ticked down Thursday as traders awaited Friday’s July jobs report, which will give the latest snapshot on the labor market and the health of the economy.

A slight uptick in weekly jobless claims,reported Thursday morning, weighed on investors watching for signs that labor market strength is dwindling. The July jobs report, scheduled to be released Friday, will show how employers hired last month. Economists estimate that the economy added 258,000 jobs in July, down from 372,000 in June, the jobless rate is forecast to remain 3.6 per cent.

Ion the UK the Bank of England announces its biggest interest rate increase since 1995. It raised its rate by half a percentage point this morning, and forecast that the annual rate of inflation would top 13 percent when household energy bills climb in October. That would be Britain’s highest level of inflation in 42 years.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.26 per cent, to 32,726.82. The S&P 500 was flat to. The Nasdaq Composite increased 0.41 per cent to 12,720.58, the highest close since early May.

In addition, investors will get an updated look at inflation data from the July consumer price index report next week.

Earnings season continued, with a slew of reports on Thursday. Eli Lilly shares fell after the company missed Wall Street’s estimates for its quarterly results and cut its full-year forecast.

Investors will get another batch of earnings on Friday. Virgin Galactic, AMC Entertainment and Beyond Meat are scheduled to report after the bell.

Across the sectors – once again energy was the worst performing sector as Global oil prices dropped on Thursday to their lowest levels since before Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine as traders fretted over the possibility of an economic recession later this year that could torpedo energy demand. The Oil price lost $2.12 or 2.3 per cent to US$88.54 a barrel.

Now there’s a new meme stock in town its called AMTD Digital, a Hong Kong-based fintech company, the stock staged an epic stock rally the other day, at one point touching a market value of more than $450 billion—ahead of Meta, Alibaba, and Disney. While shares fell about 34 per cent yesterday, it’s still up 14,000 per cent since its IPO last month. The company said there are “no material circumstances” for its stock spiking, but nonetheless thanked investors (aka the hordes of Reddit traders who pumped its value). It was the most-mentioned stock on the platform yesterday.

In currency news, one Australian dollar has strengthened buying 69.70 US cents (Thu: 69.54 US cents), 57.34 Pence Sterling, 92.67 Yen and 68.02 Euro cents.

On the commodity front

Iron ore is 4 per cent lower at US$103.80 tonne. Iron ore futures are pointing to a 1.5 per cent fall.

Gold prices climbed 1.7% to hit a fresh one-month peak on Thursday underpinned by a retreat in the dollar and U.S. Treasury yields, and as investors kept a close tab on U.S.-China tensions.

Silver was up $0.23 or 1.2 per cent to US$20.12 an ounce.

Copper was up $1.45 or 0.4 per cent to US$348.15 a pound.

The SPI futures are pointing to a 0.1 per cent gain.
 
Figures around the globe

Across the Atlantic, European markets closed mostly higher. Paris added 0.6 per cent, Frankfurt gained 0.6 per cent and London’s FTSE closed flat.

Asian markets closed lower. Tokyo’s Nikkei added 0.7 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 2.1 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite closed 0.8 per cent higher.

Yesterday, the Australian sharemarket closed flat at 6975.

Ex-dividends

There is one company set to trade without the right to a dividend.

Janus Henderson (ASX:JHG) is paying 55.7461 cents unfranked

Dividends payable

There are five companies set to pay eligible shareholders today.

Centuria Industrial REIT (ASX:CIP)
Centuria Office REIT (ASX:COF)
Euroz (ASX:EZL)
Kelly Partners Group Holdings (ASX:KPG)
360 Capital Enhanced Income Fund (ASX:TCF)

Sources: Bloomberg, FactSet, IRESS, TradingView, UBS, Bourse Data, Trading Economics, CoinMarketCap.