Saturday, April 13, 2024

Stocks move broadly higher following big job gains in March

by Associated Press

Stocks rose broadly in morning trading on Wall Street Monday as the economy showed more signs that it’s continuing to recover.

The U.S. government reported last week that employers went on a hiring spree in March, adding 916,000 jobs, the most since August. Investors had a delayed reaction to the encouraging job growth, which was released on Friday when stock trading was closed. Investors were further encouraged by a report Monday showing that the services sector recorded record growth in March as orders, hiring and prices surged.

The S&P 500 rose 1.3% and is on track to beat the record high it set last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 365 points, or 1.1%, to 33,519 and the Nasdaq rose 1.3% as of 10:57 a.m. Eastern.

Both employment and the services industry have been lagging other areas of the economy throughout the recovery. Analysts have said that both need to show signs of growth in order for the recovery to remain on track. COVID-19 and the potential for a spike in cases remains a concern, but the strong rollout of vaccinations is making an eventual return to normal for many people seem clearer and closer.

Tesla also surprised investors with a report that vehicle deliveries doubled during the first quarter.

Technology stocks were the biggest gainers in the early going. Apple rose 1.8% and Microsoft gained 2.7%. Tesla rose 4.9% following its encouraging report on vehicle deliveries.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was little changed from last week at 1.72%.

The gains were broad, with nearly every sector rising. Companies that stand to benefit from a broader reopening of the economy and economic growth also did well. Carnival rose 5.4% and General Motors rose 3.3%.

Energy companies lagged the broader market as crude oil prices slipped 3%. Marathon Oil fell 3.9%.

GameStop fell 4.3% after announcing a stock sale.

Markets in Europe and Greater China were closed for holidays. The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo rose 0.8% while the Kospi in Seoul gained 0.3%.

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