Stocks Rise to Records, Treasuries Surge Amid Jobs: Markets Wrap

  • Hiring and wage growth come in below forecasts in May
  • S&P 500, Dow, Nasdaq close at all-time highs on tech rally

Market Strategist Sees Lots of Reasons for Oil Skepticism

The dollar weakened and Treasuries advanced with gold after the latest jobs report offered mixed signals on the strength of the American labor market, while U.S. stocks pushed to fresh records as technology shares extended a rally.

The Nasdaq 100 Index jumped more than 1 percent to an all-time high as Microsoft Corp. surged the most in six months to a record. Gains in rate-sensitive shares drove the S&P 500 Index to a new high after the 10-year Treasury yield slumped to the lowest level of the year following wage growth and hiring that was below forecasts. The Bloomberg dollar index fell to the lowest since November. Gold jumped and oil capped its worst week in a month.

The latest jobs report likely won’t deter the Federal Reserve from increasing interest rates in two weeks as the economy continues to grind higher even as Washington shows few signs of moving forward with tax and spending reforms. Global equities have advanced more than 10 percent this year to set fresh records as data showed growth in the world’s largest economy is intact.

“The unemployment number that came out was well below expectations, and we have a market that’s starting to rethink the Fed’s strategy. There’s a lot of stuff going on,” said Andrew Brenner, head of international fixed income for National Alliance Capital Markets.“But we’re still in a flows market. We’re getting closer to a correction every day, but I think you’re going to have a melt-up first.”

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Here are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • The S&P 500 climbed 0.3 percent to a record 2,438.38 as of 4 p.m. in New York. 
  • The measure rose 0.9 percent in the week, led by gains of at least 2 percent in phone and health-care share. Energy producers slumped 2.4 percent and banks lost 0.9 percent.
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2 percent to 21,190, and briefly climbed above 21,200 for the first time.
  • The Nasdaq Composite Index extended its record. The technology-heavy index jumped 1.5 percent in the week.
  • The Russell 2000 added 1.7 percent in the four days.
  • The Stoxx Europe 600 Index increased 0.2 percent, to cap a 0.3 percent advance in the week.
  • Emerging-market equities rose 0.6 percent, paring a loss in the five days to 0.2 percent. The MSCI index is up 18 percent so far in 2017.

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index retreated 0.4 percent to the lowest level since November. It fell 0.5 percent in the week.
  • The British pound was little changed at $1.2887, while the euro strengthened 0.6 percent to $1.1283.
  • The yen gained 0.9 percent to 110.40 per dollar, after falling 0.5 percent on Thursday.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell six basis points to 2.1487, the lowest level of the year.
  • The data had only a marginal impact on the odds of the Fed tightening, with the likelihood for a June hike holding around 86 percent.

Commodities 

  • West Texas Intermediate crude dropped 1.5 percent to settle at $47.66 a barrel. Prices fell 4.3 percent in the week, the most since May 5, as U.S. crude production expanded to the highest level since August 2015, countering a slide in stockpiles.
  • Gold futures rallied as the jobs data weakened the case for the Fed to move aggressively. Bullion for delivery in three months added 0.8 percent to settle at $1,280.20 an ounce after falling as much as 0.7 percent earlier. The metal posted a fourth straight weekly gain.

Asia

  • The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.9 percent to the highest since April 2015. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average rallied 1.6 percent and topped 20,000 for the first time since December 2015.
  • China’s offshore yuan tumbled the most since February amid signs that a funding crunch is beginning to abate. The onshore currency slipped 0.2 percent, breaking a four-day rally.
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