Stock market steadies following jobs report close to economist projections 

The Associated Press reports Wall Street is holding relatively steady today after this morning’s government data suggested the U.S. job market is still warm enough to keep the economy growing but not hot enough to stoke inflation much higher.

The S&P (Standard & Poor) 500 was 0.1% lower in morning trading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 56 points, or 0.2%, at 33,865 as of 10:30 a.m. Eastern time. The Nasdaq composite was 0.1% higher.

Today’s report showing that U.S. employers added 209,000 jobs last month, a slowdown from May’s hiring of 306,000, was notably close to economists’ expectations. Besides the slowdown in overall hiring, some numbers underneath the report’s surface also showed some loosening in the job market. More people are working part-time because their hours have been cut, for example.

That could keep the Federal Reserve on the course it’s been hinting at recently: perhaps two more increases this year before the Fed holds rates at a high level to ensure inflation returns to its 2% target.

Treasury yields were mixed following the much-anticipated jobs data. The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 4.05% from 4.03% late Thursday. It helps set rates for mortgages and other important loans.

The two-year yield, which moves more on expectations for the Fed, fell to 4.91% from 5.00%.

Bank stocks were rising this morning. JPMorgan Chase rose 1% and was one of the strongest forces pushing upward on the S&P 500.

Smaller banks that have been under heavy scrutiny as Wall Street hunts for other potential weak links were also climbing. PacWest Bancorp gained 1.6%.

Stocks of smaller companies also rose more than the rest of the market. The Russell 2000 index of smaller stocks rose 1.1%.

On the losing side of Wall Street was Levi Strauss, which tumbled 5.7% despite reporting slightly stronger profit for the latest quarter than analysts expected, and Costco Wholesale, which fell 1.5%.

Higher yields are helping to pull the S&P 500 toward a loss of 0.9% for the week. That would be just its second losing week in the last eight.