Jobs Report Sends US Stocks Higher 03/05 09:33
Stocks were broadly higher in early morning trading Friday, as investors
welcome news that hiring by U.S. employers picked up last month at the fastest
pace since October, a potential sign of recovery from the more than year-long
pandemic and economic malaise.
(AP) -- Stocks were broadly higher in early morning trading Friday, as
investors welcome news that hiring by U.S. employers picked up last month at
the fastest pace since October, a potential sign of recovery from the more than
year-long pandemic and economic malaise.
The S&P 500 index rose 0.5% as of 10:10 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones
Industrial average rose 0.8% as the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.1%. On Thursday
the S&P 500 briefly dipped into the red for the year and is on track for its
third consecutive weekly loss.
U.S. employers added a robust 379,000 jobs last month, a sign that the
economy is strengthening as confirmed viral cases drop, consumers spend more
and states and cities ease business restrictions.
The February gain marked a sharp pickup from the 166,000 jobs that were
added in January and the loss of 306,000 in December. Yet it represents just a
fraction of the roughly 9.6 million jobs that the economy needs to regain to
return to pre-pandemic levels.
The bond market, which has been betting on stronger economic growth as well
as the potential for higher inflation, pushed bond yields higher. The yield on
the 10-year Treasury note was trading at 1.60%, its highest level in more than
a year. Only a week ago, markets reacted negatively to the 10-year note
crossing the 1.50% mark.
Technology stocks continued their slow march downward as bond yields rise.
Tech stocks tend to be more expensive than other stocks per dollar of earnings
a company can generate, a concept known as the price-to-earnings ratio. Because
tech stocks are pricier, they tend to sell off when bond yields become more
In contrast, bank stocks continued their climb higher as higher bond yields
mean banks can charge higher interest rates on loans. Bank of America, Wells
Fargo, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase were all up 1% or more.
Investors were disappointed with remarks by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome
Powell on Thursday when he said inflation will likely pick up in the coming
months, though he cautioned that the increase would be temporary and would not
be enough for the Fed to alter its low-interest rate policies.