US stocks bounce on strong February jobs data

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 0.5 per cent to 2,753.11, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.6 per cent to 7,471.90. ― Reuters pic
The broad-based S&P 500 rose 0.5 per cent to 2,753.11, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.6 per cent to 7,471.90. ― Reuters pic

NEW YORK, March 9 ― Wall Street stocks rose early today after data showed the US added 313,000 jobs in February, far above analyst expectations.

The closely-watched monthly US payrolls report also revealed moderating wage growth compared with the January report, mitigating concerns the Federal Reserve will speed its pace of interest rate hikes.

“In a nutshell, the tax cuts are already boosting hiring, but as long as it’s not causing wages to accelerate or the unemployment rate to drop, why worry?” said FTN Financial’s Chris Low. “That’s the way the Fed is likely to see it too.”

About 10 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.5 per cent to 25,024.21.

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 0.5 per cent to 2,753.11, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.6 per cent to 7,471.90.

The market’s cheery open also followed an announcement of an historic summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, expected to take place by the end of May.

Analysts also said investors were somewhat placated by Trump’s modified approach to tariffs, which exempted Mexico and Canada making them less severe than initially feared. Worries about a possible a trade war have not completely abated, however, with the European Union threatening retaliation.

Among individual companies, shares of toymakers Hasbro and Mattel fell by 3.6 per cent and 7.2 per cent, respectively, following reports that Toys ‘R’ Us may liquidate its US operations as it tries to emerge from bankruptcy. ― AFP

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