Stocks surge after a blockbuster jobs report
Stocks surged Friday on the back of U.S. jobs growth that easily topped analyst expectations as Wall Street wrapped up a choppy week of trading.
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The Dow was up more than 300 points, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq rose 1%.
Shares of 3M led the Dow’s strong gains, rising more than 2%. The financials sector was the best performer in the S&P 500, jumping 1.3%.
The S&P 500 came into the session down 0.7% for the week, but Friday’s strong gains helped the index recover those losses. The Dow and Nasdaq each entered Friday trading down more than 1% week to date. They were only down 0.5% and 0.3%, respectively, after the session began.
The U.S. economy added 266,000 jobs in November, according to figures released by the Labor Department. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected a gain of 187,000. The unemployment rate fell to 3.5%, matching its lowest level since 1969.
“There is a lot to like in today’s read,” said Mike Loewengart, the vice president of investment strategy at E-Trade. It also “puts a lot of questions to rest. It essentially means the Fed’s easing cycle is complete and it puts the US in a stronger position for trade war negotiations.”
Treasury yields climbed to their session highs after the data was released, pushing prices down. The benchmark 10-year yield traded at 1.86% while the 2-year rate was at 1.63%.
Gold futures shed 1.1% to trade at $1,467.10 per ounce.
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Friday’s report comes as investors grappled with mixed signals on the U.S.-China trade front this week. China started off the week saying it wants tariffs to be canceled as part of a “phase one” trade deal. President Donald Trump later said he could hold off on any deal until after the 2020 U.S. election.
That rhetoric sent stocks tumbling to start off the week. However, Trump said Thursday the two countries were inching closer to a trade deal. China also extended an olive branch to the U.S. on Friday by waving import tariffs on some American pork and soybeans shipments.
To be sure, both sides have less than 10 days to go before Washington is poised to impose even more tariffs on Chinese goods. Tariffs on another $156 billion in Chinese goods are set to go into effect on Dec. 15.
Other data slated for release Friday includes consumer sentiment for December, wholesale trade figures for October and the latest reading of consumer credit will all follow slightly later in the session.
CNBC’s Yun Li and Sam Meredith contributed to this report.
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