Home Markets A key jobs report in the week ahead could drive the next...

A key jobs report in the week ahead could drive the next big market move

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Traders work at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Manhattan, August 3, 2021.

Andrew Kelly | Reuters

With Jackson Hole in the rear-view mirror, August’s employment report could be the next driver for markets.

Stocks gained in the past week, surging again to new highs Friday after a speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. The chairman acknowledged that Fed officials expect to taper back their $120 billion a month bond-buying program this year, a first step toward reversing easy policy.

Powell was speaking at the Kansas City Fed’s annual Jackson Hole, Wyo. symposium, held virtually this year. He said the Fed has seen sufficient progress on inflation, but the labor market has not yet improved enough to start the taper. Importantly, he also emphasized that the wind down of the bond program does not mean the Fed will automatically move on to raise interest rate hikes.

“Powell has made it clear the Fed is not prepared to raise interest rates anytime…

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