Stocks have moved mostly higher in morning trading on Friday, offsetting the weakness seen in the previous session. The major averages have all moved to the upside, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq showing a particularly strong advance.
Currently, the major averages are hovering near the best levels of the day. The Nasdaq is up 164.57 points or 1.2 percent at 13,779.07, while the S&P 500 is up 27.12 points or 0.7 percent at 4,219.97 and the Dow is up 112.75 points or 0.3 percent at 34,689.79.
The rebound on Wall Street comes following the release of the Labor Department’s closely watched report on employment in the month of May.
The report showed job growth in the U.S. reaccelerated in May, although the increase in employment still fell short of economist estimates.
Non-farm payroll employment jumped by 559,000 jobs in May after climbing by an upwardly revised 278,000 jobs in April.
Economists had expected employment to surge by 650,000 jobs compared to the addition of 266,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.
Employment in the leisure and hospitality sector showed another significant increase, spiking by 292,000 jobs during the month. Notable job growth was also seen in public and private education and health care and social assistance.
The Labor Department also said the unemployment rate fell to 5.8 percent in May from 6.1 percent in April, while economists had expected the unemployment rate to dip to 5.9 percent.
With the bigger than expected decrease, the unemployment rate dropped to its lowest level since hitting 4.4 percent in March of 2020.
Traders seem to be viewing the weaker than expected job growth as a “Goldilocks” situation, where the economy is expanding but not fast enough to encourage the Federal Reserve to tighten monetary policy.
Paul Ashworth, Chief U.S. Economist at Capital Economics, noted employment remains 7.6 million below its pre-pandemic peak and said it would take more than 12 months at the current pace to fully eradicate the shortfall.
“In any other set of circumstances, monthly gains in excess of half a million would be amazing but, with a 7.6 million shortfall, it will be some time at that pace before the Fed’s ‘substantial further progress’ has been met,” Ashworth said.
The Fed has said it won’t begin tapering its asset purchases until “substantial further progress” has been made toward its goals of maximum employment and price stability.
Semiconductor stocks are turning in some of the market’s best performances on the day, resulting in a 2.1 percent jump by the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index.
Chipmaker Broadcom (AVGO) is posting a notable gain after reporting better than expected fiscal second quarter results and providing upbeat guidance.
Software and networking stocks are also seeing considerable strength in morning trading, contributing to the advance by the tech-heavy Nasdaq.
A rebound by the price of gold is also contributing to significant strength among gold stocks, while transportation and oil service stocks have moved to the downside.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in yet another mixed performance during trading on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index slid by 0.4 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index inched up by 0.2 percent.
The major European markets have also turned mixed on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is down by 0.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is up by 0.1 percent and the German DAX Index is up by 0.3 percent.
In the bond market, treasuries have move notably higher in reaction to the monthly jobs data. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 5.1 basis points at 1.574 percent.
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