Wall Street got the July jobs report it was hoping for, but the market didn't do much with it.
The Labor Department on Friday reported that the unemployment rate dropped to 10.2% last month, from 11.1% in June, as the U.S. added nearly 1.8 million jobs. That total was better than economists' estimates, though far lower than the 4.8 million jobs tacked on in June.SEE MORE 10 Best Cloud Stocks to Buy for Rapid Growth
But investors didn't reap many gains in blue-chip stocks. While the small-cap Russell 2000 soared 1.6% to 1,569, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the day with a modest 0.2% improvement, and the S&P 500 inched ahead by a mere 2 points to 3,351.
The Nasdaq Composite fared much worse, declining by 0.9% to 11,010 as hot-running components such as Apple (AAPL, -2.3%), Microsoft (MSFT, -1.8%) and Amazon.com (AMZN, -1.8%) stalled out Friday.
"While the U.S. economy added more jobs and the unemployment rate fell (both better than expectations), the July increase in non-farm payrolls confirms that the rise in new virus cases did slow the economic recovery to some extent," writes Gene Goldman, chief investment officer at Cetera Investment Management, a broker-dealer network encompassing more than 8,000 advisors and $250 billion in assets.
"One worry about today's report is that it puts less pressure on Washington to pass a much-needed, new fiscal stimulus package."
And, indeed, Congress appears to be at an impasse, with Republicans standing by their $1 trillion plan, and Democrats refusing to approve anything less than $2 trillion.The Bright Side to Friday's Action
But some of the market's more troubled sectors of 2020 made a decent showing. Industrial stocks, for instance, finished with solid gains as UPS (UPS, +7.9%) continued its torrid run. Income-friendly real estate investment trusts (REITs) and utility stocks also picked up some slack.SEE MORE 65 Best Dividend Stocks You Can Count On in 2020
Sitting somewhere in the middle, as it has throughout a good-but-not-great 2020, was the health care sector. While COVID-19 has hurt certain area