Tech companies led gains in stocks after weak U.S. jobs data stunned investors, easing fears about higher inflation and a stimulus cutback. The dollar fell, while Treasuries climbed.
The long-awaited employment report rattled markets, with payrolls up only 266,000 in April, largely trailing the projected 1 million surge. With the softer figures signaling challenges to the economic recovery, investors piled back into the perceived safety of pandemic darlings — mega-cap companies flush with cash. Tech-led gains in the S&P 500, while financial and industrial shares lagged behind. The Nasdaq 100 outperformed major equity benchmarks.
“It’s a big surprise,” said Matt Maley, chief market strategist at Miller Tabak & Co. “It’s going to throw a big wrench in the works of the big rotation trade we’ve seen recently. The decline in U.S. 10-year yield is going to hurt the banks and help the techs. It should also cause some problems for commodities which have been rallying very strongly in expectations of higher inflation”.
In an interview with Bloomberg Television, Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari said the data justified why the central bank is continuing to deliver stimulus. “Today’s jobs report is just an example of we have a long way to go and let’s not prematurely declare victory,” he said.
These are some of the main moves in markets:
- The S&P 500 rose 0.5% as of 9:50 a.m. New York time
- The Nasdaq 100 rose 1%
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3%
- The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.7%
- The MSCI World index rose 0.7%
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.4%
- The euro rose 0.5% to $1.2121
- The British pound rose 0.4% to $1.3941
- The Japanese yen rose 0.3% to 108.75 per dollar
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries declined two basis points to 1.55%
- Germany’s 10-year yield was little changed at -0.22%
- Britain’s 10-year yield declined two basis points to 0.77%
- West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.5% to $65 a barrel
- Gold futures rose 1.1% to $1,836 an ounce