October 5, 2018 / 2:32 PM / 2 months ago

US STOCKS-Wall St flat as bond yields gain on jobs data

* Job growth slows in Sept; July, Aug data revised higher

* Unemployment rate at 49-yr low, wages rise steadily

* Financial stocks gain as data boosts Treasury yields

* Technology stocks drop, led by Intel and Apple

* Indexes: Dow flat, S&P up 0.06 pct, Nasdaq down 0.28 pct (Updates to open)

By Medha Singh

Oct 5 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were little changed on Friday, kept in check by Treasury yields at seven-year highs after the September jobs report did little to alter the view that the Federal Reserve would continue to gradually raise interest rates.

U.S. job growth slowed sharply in September, missing economists’ forecasts, likely as Hurricane Florence depressed restaurant and retail payrolls, a Labor Department report showed. Jobs numbers for July and August were revised higher.

But the unemployment rate fell to near a 49-year low, suggesting the labor market has tightened further, while wages rose steadily, pointing to moderate inflation pressures.

“The overall picture is that the labor market remains solid and robust,” said Matt Luzzetti, senior economist at Deutsche Bank in New York.

“Barring any shocks to the economy, we expect them (Fed) to raise rates in December.”

Among stocks, financials rose 0.42 percent as longer-dated U.S. Treasury yields rose after the jobs data. Banking companies were up 0.29 percent.

Seven of the 11 S&P sectors were higher, with the defensive utilities sector up 0.79 percent.

Technology stocks fell 0.46 percent, with Intel and Apple both down about 1 percent. That pressured the Nasdaq.

At 10:03 a.m. EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average was flat at 26,627.57. The S&P 500 was up 1.81 points, or 0.06 percent, at 2,903.42 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 22.18 points, or 0.28 percent, at 7,857.33.

Still, U.S. stocks are trading near record levels, raising concerns about valuations with the earnings season just around the corner.

Costco Wholesale shares dropped 3.1 percent after the company’s quarterly sales barely beat analysts’ estimates, while gross margins fell on rising costs and higher investments.

IPG Photonics tumbled 10.1 percent after the laser-manufacturer cut its third-quarter revenue forecast due to tariff and trade-related problems.

Generic drugmaker Mylan dipped 1.9 percent after Mizuho downgraded the stock to “neutral” from “buy”.

Tesla shares fell 4.5 percent after Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk stirred nerves about the settlement of his securities fraud lawsuit by mocking the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Twitter.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.11-to-1 ratio on the NYSE, but advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.06-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 8 new 52-week highs and seven new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 9 new highs and 45 new lows. (Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru, additional reporting by Charles Mikolajczak in New York; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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