By Yasin Ebrahim
Investing.com – The S&P 500 and Dow closed at record highs Friday, riding a wave of optimism over the recovery after data showed the economy created more jobs than expected last month.
The S&P 500 rose 0.2% and had hit a record intraday high of 4,436.70. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.4%, or 144 points, to remain close to its all-time high of 35,208.51. The Nasdaq was down 0.40%.
The U.S. economy created 943,000 jobs in July, above forecasts for a gain of 870,000, while the unemployment rate fell to 5.4% from 5.9%.
Average hourly earnings rose to 4% to from 3.7% as employers were forced to hike wages to attract new workers amid dearth in labor supply. The trend of rising wages is expected to continue, and could keep inflation higher for longer.
”Bottom line, this was a solid employment report which showed the most significant improvement in the labor market in 9 months,” Jefferies (NYSE:JEF) said.
The stronger jobs report supported investor expectations that the Federal Reserve could begin to trim its bond purchases by year-end.
“The timing [for tapering] now rides on the August employment report, which could soften in response to the spread of the Delta variant, but tapering is now pretty much baked into the cake by year-end,” Diane Swonk chief economist at Grant Thornton said in a note.
U.S. Treasury yields surged following report, with 10-year yields rising to near 1.3%. Rising Treasury yields, an ally of bank stocks, prompted strong gains in Zions Bancorporation (NASDAQ:ZION), Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), and People’s United Financial (NASDAQ:PBCT), pushing the overall financial sector higher.
Higher interest rates boost the return on interest that banks earn from their loan products, or net interest margin – the difference between the interest income generated by banks and the amount of interest paid out to depositors.
Energy was among the top sector gainers, shrugging off weakness in oil prices amid demand concerns after China implemented restriction to curtail the delta variant of coronavirus.
Oil prices are facing a weekly loss of around 6%, which would constitute their “most pronounced weekly decline since March,” Commerzbank (DE:CBKG) said.
Tech stocks fell, however, as rising U.S. Treasury yields weighed on the sector.
Dropbox (NASDAQ:DBX) climbed 2% after the file sharing company reported second-quarter results that topped Wall Street estimates.
DraftKings (NASDAQ:DKNG) raised its revenue outlook for the full year after reporting stronger-than-expected earnings and revenue for the second quarter. Its shares gained 2%.
In other news, Virgin Galactic (NYSE:SPCE) jumped 6% as the company reopened ticket sales for space tourism, with seats starting at $450,000. The company also reported mixed quarterly results as earnings missed, but revenue topped Wall Street estimates.
S&P 500, Dow Notch Records as Jobs Report Renews Optimism on Recovery
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