US Stocks Turn Lower on Hot Jobs Report

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks gave up early gains and turned lower on Wall Street after an unexpectedly strong report on the job market raised concerns that the Federal Reserve will need to keep the pressure on inflation with aggressive interest rate increases.

The S&P 500 was down 0.5% after the first hour of trading. It had been up as much as 1% shortly after trading opened. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 161 points, or 0.5%, to 32,576 and the Nasdaq fell 0.5%.

The Labor Department reported that U.S. job openings rose unexpectedly in September, suggesting that the labor market is not cooling as fast as the Fed hoped for as it tries to slow economic growth.

The latest jobs data, which comes ahead of a broader employment report on Friday, is disappointing for investors who are looking for signs that inflation is easing and that the Fed might consider tempering its interest rate increases.

Wall Street is concerned that the central bank is being too aggressive in slowing the economy, running the risk that it could bring on a recession.

Long-term Treasury yields turned higher after the report in job openings came out and rose back near multiyear highs. Those high rates have helped push mortgage rates above 7% this year.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 4.04% from 3.93% earlier in the morning.

The yield on the two-year Treasury, which tends to reflect market expectations of future moves by the Federal Reserve, rose to 4.50% from 4.40%.

Several big companies made solid gains following encouraging earnings reports and forecasts.

Pfizer rose 2.9% after reporting strong results and raising its profit forecast for the year. Uber surged 15% after giving investors a strong forecast for future bookings. Rival Lyft rose 9.5%.

Earnings remain a big focus for investors this week. CVS reports its results on Wednesday and Starbucks reports earnings on Thursday.

The Fed is beginning a two-day policy meeting that's expected to result in its sixth interest rate increase of the year as the central bank fights the worst inflation in four decades. The widespread expectation is for the Fed to push through another increase that's triple the usual size.

Following the latest hotter-than-expected jobs data, investors now see a slightly greater possibility that the Fed will make yet another jumbo size interest rates increase at its December meeting, according to CME Group.