Stocks again post records following encouraging jobs data

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The Associated Press 02 July, 2021 - 03:56pm 31 views

Is Richard Branson going to space?

Virgin's July 11 launch will include four passengers, including Branson. ... In August 2020, Branson said he was planning on making his first trip to space in early-2021, but those plans were delayed somewhat after a computer malfunction delayed a previous Virgin Galactic test flight in February. CNBCRichard Branson vs. Jeff Bezos: How the two space-bound billionaires stack up

Who is going to space with Jeff Bezos?

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Virgin Galactic's Richard Branson is aiming to beat fellow billionaire Jeff Bezos into space by nine days. Branson's company announced Thursday evening that its next test flight will be July 11 and that its founder will be among the six people on board. Associated PressRichard Branson announces trip to space, ahead of Jeff Bezos

Wall Street capped a milestone-shattering week Friday with stock indexes hitting more record highs as investors welcomed a report showing the nation’s job market was even stronger last month than expected.

The S&P 500 rose 0.8%, its seventh straight gain and seventh consecutive all-time high. The benchmark index also notched its second weekly gain in a row. The Nasdaq also set a record, getting a boost from technology stocks, which led the broad market rally. The only laggards were energy stocks and banks, which fell as Treasury yields headed lower.

Still, unemployment remains well above the 3.5% rate that prevailed before the pandemic struck, and the economy remains 6.8 million jobs short of its pre-pandemic level. And while wages grew in June, the increase was less than expected, a good sign for investors worried about inflation pressures.

Economists took the report as a sign that workers will indeed come back into the labor force as more people get vaccinated and the pandemic eases. Perhaps more importantly for markets, some said the numbers likely mean the Federal Reserve can stay on the course it’s set, keeping interest rates low for a while longer to support the economy.

“The wage inflation number didn’t pick up to the degree some people were anticipating, so that’s probably a little bit reassuring to the market as well,” said Andrew Mies, chief investment officer at investment advisory firm 6 Meridien.

The S&P 500 rose 32.40 points to 4,352.34. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 152.82 points, or 0.4%, to 34,786.35. The Nasdaq composite added 116.95 points, or 0.8%, to 14,639.33.

Smaller stocks in the Russell 2000 lagged. The index fell 23.60 points, or 1%, to 2,305.76.

Treasury yields were flat to lower following the jobs report, and the yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 1.43% from 1.48% late Thursday.

Low interest rates help drive up prices for all kinds of stocks, but they provide particularly powerful fuel for high-growth companies whose prices may otherwise look expensive.

That helped push several influential tech-oriented stocks higher Friday. Microsoft gained 2.2%, and Apple rose 2%. Because those companies are so big, their stock movements carry extra heft for indexes, and they helped make up for losses by energy producers and financial companies.

The Fed has said it will keep rates low to help strengthen the job market, and Friday’s report suggested to several investors that growth in jobs or inflation wasn’t high enough to alter its course. Average hourly wages for workers were 3.6% higher in June than a year ago, but the rise from May was slightly below economists’ expectations at 0.3%.

“Maybe with wage growth and inflation having peaked, we can get past the peak fears of some sort of wage-price doom-loop,” said Brian Jacobsen, senior investment strategist, Wells Fargo Asset Management.

The Fed has been insisting that the higher inflation hitting the economy now will be only temporary, which would give it more leeway to keep its support for the economy in place. Many investors expect it to announce a pullback in its bond purchases later this year, well before expectations for the Fed to move short-term rates off their record low in 2022 or 2023.

If job growth or inflation is stronger and more persistent than expected, though, it could force the Fed to move up its timetable and raise rates more aggressively.

“The Fed wants to let the economy run as hot as possible and the let the unemployment rate get as low as possible without triggering hot inflation,” said Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer for Independent Advisor Alliance. “Inflation may run hot, and that could speed up plans for tapering, but as far as raising rates I think they are still going to wait a long time.”

Markets in both Europe and Asia were mixed.

U.S. stock markets will be closed Monday in observance of Independence Day.

AP Business Writer Yuri Kageyama contributed.

Read full article at The Associated Press

Who Is Sirisha Bandla Telugu Origin Sirisha Bandla In Next Flight To Space! - Gulte

Gulte 02 July, 2021 - 09:10pm

A Telugu-origin woman by name Sirisha Bandla is all set to make history as she is set to embark on a space mission. In the US private entities are gearing up for space travel and Virgin Galactic is one of them. On July 11th, Virgin Galactic will begin its first fully crewed rocket powered test flight.

The crew comprises six astronauts and Sirisha Bandla is one among them. With Researcher Experience to her credit, Sirisha Bandla will be joining the elite list of Kalpana Chawla and Sunitha Williams and more importantly all of them Indian origin astronauts are women. This is indeed an incredible achievement.

Sirish was born in erstwhile Andhra Pradesh and grew up in Houston, Texas. She has done her Bachelors of Science in aeronautical engineering and MBA from George Washington University. Sirisha also worked for a space policy job at the Commercial Spaceflight Federation and on various policies to promote the commercial space industry and make commercial spaceflight a reality.

A few years back, Sirish was honoured with the Youth Star Award by the Telugu Association of North America (TANA).

Coming to Virgin Galactic, it is founded by Richard Branson and it is their only fourth trip to space. This company aims to go past Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin which is also working on space travel.

Tags India Kalpana Chawla Sirisha Bandla Space Sunitha Williams

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