The stocks in Asia lower with stable US markets

US Stocks Rise as Fewer Job Openings Fuel Rate Cut Prospect

US stocks closed slightly higher on Tuesday as the latest signs of a cooling labor market in the country reinforced the prospect of an interest rate cut from the Federal Reserve this year.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) index surged 0.36% to 38,711.29 at the end of an unstable session, while the S&P 500 rose 0.15% to 5,291.34, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index was up 0.17% to 16,857.05.

The three main indices strengthened after recuperating losses early in the session. Real estate and consumer staple stocks became the top performers, while materials and energy equities incurred the most losses.

Shares in US tech giants, including Alphabet Inc., Nvidia Corp., Microsoft Corp., and Amazon.com Inc., also posted gains at the close following a slide earlier.

US Job Openings Hit 3-Year Low to Boost Rate Cut Hopes

US job openings hit their lowest level in three years in April, further indicating a labor market that has started to soften after a post-pandemic employment boom.

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showed on Tuesday that the number of available jobs in the US was 8.06 million at the end of April, lower than the revised 8.35 million logged in March.

Monthly job vacancies have progressively declined from a 12.2 million peak in March 2022 as the recovery of the world’s largest economy from pandemic lockdowns saw companies in serious need of employees.

The US job openings data was the latest in a series of recent readings that signaled easing economic growth.

On Monday, the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for May dropped to 48.7 from 49.2. That marked the second consecutive month the US manufacturing sector has seen activity slow down.

CME Group Inc.’s FedWatch Tool now estimates a 65% probability of a September rate cut from the Fed, compared to the 50% forecast in the week prior.

Further cues on the central bank’s interest rate course are expected to emerge on Friday’s release of the US nonfarm payrolls report.

While recent economic reports have shown a downward trajectory, chief investment officer (CIO) James St. Aubin said the data were only fairly weak and could positively or negatively impact the stock market, expecting a rate reduction from the Fed.

Markets would need weaker data to see a higher likelihood of an interest rate cut, according to St. Aubin.

US job openings are at their lowest since February 2021, but they remained at historically strong levels despite high interest rates and the economy possibly losing momentum.

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