The monthly jobs report is the highlight in the coming week, as June winds down and markets start the second half of the year.
Economists are expecting about 700,000 jobs. That’s better than the 559,000 in May but below the forecasts of several months ago that payroll creation would be rolling along with monthly gains of at least 1 million.
The report is a key read on the labor market, which has replaced lost jobs more slowly than expected as companies complain about worker shortages and difficulty finding help. But it is also being watched as a gauge on how sticky the current jump in inflation might be. Rising wages are one thing to watch but also worker scarcity, since that can make goods and services more expensive.
Stocks have turned in a mixed performance for the month of June so far. The S&P 500 was up 1.8% as of Friday for the month, and up 7.7% in the second quarter for a 15.6% year-to-date gain. The Nasdaq was up 4.4% in June and up 8.4% for the quarter. The Dow, meanwhile, lagged in June with a modest 0.3% decline, but it is up 4.4% quarter-to-date.