Stocks rose on Friday and the S&P 500 hit another record high after the June job report showed an accelerating recovery in the US labor market.
The broad market index rose 0.75% to 4,352.34, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.81% to hit its own record at 14,639.33. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 152.82 points to close at 34,786.35. The S&P 500 has now risen for seven consecutive sessions, the longest winning streak since August.
Solid moves in major tech stocks helped support the overall market on Friday, with Apple and Salesforce stocks rising nearly 2% and 1.3%, respectively. Microsoft rose 2.2%.
During the week, the Nasdaq Composite rose nearly 2% while the S&P 500 and Dow rose 1.7% and 1%, respectively. Several sectors closed at record levels on Friday, including technology and health.
The strong week on Wall Street was fueled by a string of solid economic reports, which were crowned with a better-than-expected job report on Friday morning.
The economy created 850,000 jobs last month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected an increase of 706,000. Pressure exceeded the revised 583,000 jobs created in May.
“This is a strong report and should be taken as a sign of an accelerating labor market,” Aberdeen Standard Investments’ deputy chief economist James McCann said in a statement.
Angelo Kourkafas, an investment strategist at Edward Jones, said the report showed solid growth but would not change the course of the Fed and hit a sweet spot for the markets.
“I think it was one of those Goldilocks reports because the hiring was speeding up – which is a positive sign for the second half and recovery – but not so much that it would trigger a response to an accelerated schedule for the federal government reserve You to start tapering, “said Kourkafas.
In addition to the increase in employment, average hourly wages increased 0.3% for the month and 3.6% year-over-year, in line with expectations.
Goldman Sachs chief economist Jan Hatzius said the report alleviated labor shortage concerns.
“I think we also learned that the explanations for the weaker April and May numbers – namely that the seasonal likelihood weighs on job growth and likely some of the impact of unemployment benefits on labor supply – were pretty good explanations – it was reassuring in that sense” Hatzius said on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street, adding that the unemployment rate, which is higher than expected, shows that the recovery has a long way to go.
The S&P 500 is now up for five of the last six weeks while the Nasdaq is up for six of the last seven weeks.
Despite recent equity strength, market strategists say uncertainty about the future of the Fed’s security purchases and the upcoming earnings season could hold stocks back from big gains in the short term.
“The market is still very concerned about the Fed’s responsiveness,” said Max Gokhman, head of asset allocation at Pacific Life Fund Advisors, adding that he believed there was still a large gap in the job market.
Small caps were a weak spot for the markets this week as the Russell 2000 lost 1% on Friday and ended the week negative.
Boeing shares fell 1.3% on Friday, weighing on the Dow after a 737 cargo plane crashed off the coast of Honolulu. IBM shares fell 4.6% after the company announced the resignation of president and former Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst.
US markets will be closed on Monday for the July 4th holiday.
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