S&P 500 rises after solid jobs report

S&P 500 rises after solid jobs report

Wall Street was set to open higher on Friday after data showed faster-than-expected jobs growth in February, reinforcing bets on an economic rebound driven by massive fiscal stimulus and vaccination drives.

FILE PHOTO: A Wall Street sign is pictured outside the New York Stock Exchange, in New York City
FILE PHOTO: A Wall Street sign is pictured outside the New York Stock Exchange in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., October 2, 2020. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo

REUTERS: The S&P 500 edged higher in choppy trading on Friday after a three-day slide, as data showing faster-than-expected monthly jobs growth reinforced bets on an economic rebound driven by massive fiscal stimulus and vaccination drives.

Nonfarm payrolls surged 379,000 jobs last month after rising 166,000 in January. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast a rise of 182,000 jobs.

After the data, the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yields hit a new one-year high of 1.626per cent. Rate-sensitive bank stocks rose about 1.6per cent on prospects of an improved economic outlook.

All major S&P 500 sectors rose, led by gains in energy and financials stocks.

"It shows the reopening is on track and occurring faster than we thought," said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment strategist at Inverness Counsel in New York.

"The consensus is that stimulus is necessary to kickstart the economy and to strengthen the recovery."

A sharply divided U.S. Senate will begin a contentious debate on Friday on a US$1.9 trillion coronavirus aid bill that is President Joe Biden's first major legislative initiative.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Thursday offered an optimistic view of the labor market, but cautioned a return to full employment this year was "highly unlikely."

Powell's comments disappointed many investors who expected moves to rein in a recent jump in the U.S. 10-year Treasury yield that has set the Nasdaq on course for its third straight weekly decline.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq on Thursday wiped off all of its gains for 2021 and stopped short of ending 10per cent below its Feb. 12 closing high that would confirm a correction.

The Russell 1000 value index, which is heavily comprised of cyclical stocks such as financials and energy jumped about 1per cent, while the Russell 1000 growth index, which includes technology stocks, slipped about 0.1per cent.

At 9:53 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 74.48 points, or 0.24per cent, to 30,998.62 and the S&P 500 gained 5.13 points, or 0.14per cent, to 3,773.60.

The Nasdaq Composite lost 36.96 points, or 0.29per cent, to 12,686.52, weighed down by a near 6per cent fall in Tesla Inc shares.

Costco Wholesale Corp dropped 1.5per cent after the warehouse club operator missed estimates for second-quarter profit.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Inc slumped about 6per cent on a US$1.6 billion stock sale.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.5-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 1.1-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P 500 posted 25 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 85 new highs and 52 new lows.

(Reporting by Shashank Nayar in Bengaluru, additional reporting by Stephen culp; Editing by Maju Samuel)

Source: Reuters