U.S. stocks rose on Friday, with technology shares leading the way, as weaker-than-expected jobs growth eased concerns about the economy running too hot and causing an early tightening of monetary policy.
The Labor Department’s closely watched report showed nonfarm payrolls increased by 559,000 jobs last month, helped by vaccinations and a reopening economy, following an unexpected slowdown in the labor market in April.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 650,000 new jobs in May.
“It signals the economy continues to recover, but not too quickly to get the Fed to begin either curtailing (bond) purchases or raising rates,” said Michael Arone, chief investment strategist at State Street Global Advisors in Boston.
Worries that a robust economic rebound could lead to a prolonged period of inflation and prompt the Fed to contemplate paring back its crisis level support have weighed on investors’ minds recently.
The S&P technology sector (.SPLRCT) firmed 1.8% and other high-growth companies also advanced as longer-dated U.S. bond yields eased.
Interest rate-sensitive financials (.SPSY), on the other hand, dipped 0.4%, while energy (.SPNY), materials (.SPLRCM) and real estate (.SPLRCR) also eased.
Wall Street’s main indexes were set to rise for at least second straight week on optimism about an economic rebound amid a raft of encouraging data this week.
At 11:30 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) was up 112.89 points, or 0.33%, at 34,689.93 and the S&P 500 (.SPX) was up 30.40 points, or 0.73%, at 4,223.25. The Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) was up 188.22 points, or 1.38%, at 13,802.72.
AMC Entertainment (AMC.N) reversed course to jump 9.5%, a day after the Reddit darling completed its second share offering this week.
Billionaire William Ackman’s Pershing Square Tontine Holdings (PSTH.N) dropped 10.4% on talks to buy 10% of Universal Music Group in a deal that would value the label at $40 billion and make it the largest ever investment by a blank-check vehicle.
Meanwhile, talks in Congress aimed at hammering out an infrastructure plan carried on with progressive Democrats getting uneasy with President Joe Biden’s push for a bipartisan infrastructure deal, warning they could block an agreement that falls short of what they think the country needs.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.27-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 1.32-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 49 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 80 new highs and 10 new lows.