US stocks extend record highs as investors digest surprisingly strong June jobs report

NYSE traders
  • The S&P 500 on Friday heads toward a new record high after a robust June jobs report.
  • Blue-chip and tech stocks also rose after US data showed the creation of 850,000 jobs last month.
  • Stock trading will be closed Monday for Independence Day.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

US stocks jumped higher Friday, aiming for a seventh straight day of record highs after the June jobs report indicated accelerating growth in the labor market of the world’s largest economy which as it recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

All three of Wall Street’s main benchmark indexes advanced, with the S&P 500 up after logging its sixth consecutive record-high close on Thursday.

Ahead of the opening bell, the Labor Department reported the addition of 850,000 jobs to nonfarm payrolls last month. Economists had expected growth of 703,000 jobs, according to an Econoday estimate.

Here’s where US indexes stood at 9:30 a.m. on Friday:

The report showed a pickup in hiring in the leisure and hospitality industry, among others. That sector has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic as bars, restaurants, and air travel were temporarily shut down to curb the spread of the virus. The data arrived before investors take a break on Monday as stock trading will be closed in observance of Independence Day.

“We got some early fireworks in the jobs report as the numbers blew past expectations,” said Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer for Independent Advisor Alliance, in a note Friday.

“In the current environment, we remain positive of cyclical sectors such as financials and industrials, but we are complementing that with higher quality, large tech companies which will act defensively in the event that growth slows down in the next couple years after the initial post-pandemic boost.”

Around the markets, Virgin Galactic Holdings shares jumped at least 31% early Friday after founder Richard Branson said he will travel on the spaceflight company’s test flight on July 11, days before Jeff Bezos’ planned trip to space.

Gold rose 0.4% to $1,784.28 per ounce. Long-dated US Treasury yields fell, with the 10-year yield at 1.434%.

Oil prices fell. West Texas Intermediate crude lost 0.6%, to $74.75 per barrel as OPEC and its allies meet for a second day to discuss output levels. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, lost 0.7% to $75.34 per barrel .

Bitcoin fell 1.3%, to $33,008.45.

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US stocks tick higher as investors await key labor-market data

worried trader
  • US stocks eked out small gains on Wednesday, with all three major indexes closing slightly higher.
  • Investors are preparing for two big jobs reports this week, with weekly jobless claims and May payrolls on deck.
  • AMC Entertainment’s Reddit-fueled rally continued.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

US stocks ended slightly higher Wednesday as investors prepared for two key reports about the health of the country’s labor market as the COVID-19 pandemic wears on.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 eked out small gains but managed to hover near record highs. The Nasdaq Composite narrowly avoided its second straight loss to end the day in the green.

The day’s tepid gains came ahead of Thursday’s update from the government on weekly claims for unemployment benefits. Those figures will be followed by the Labor Department’s jobs report for May on Friday. Payrolls are expected to rise to 645,000 following April’s weaker figures.

Here’s where US indexes stood at 4 p.m. on Wednesday:

“We’re in a bit of a holding pattern, where the major indices remain just below all-time highs but the momentum hasn’t been there for a test of those levels,” JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade, said in a Wednesday note.

“It’s understandable, really, when you consider the possible ramifications of the data coming up not just this week with jobs but next week with May consumer prices. People may not be comfortable stepping into big new positions with so much news ahead and the Fed waiting in the wings,” he said.

Minutes released recently from the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting in April indicated the central bank is moving closer to discussions about potentially tapering economic support as the country recovers from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. On Wednesday, the Fed through its so-called Beige Book said the economy has expanded at a moderate pace from early April to late May. Relaxed social distancing measures and coronavirus vaccinations have boosted consumer spending at restaurants and for leisure travel, but price pressures have been building, it said.

Around markets, AMC Entertainment was back in the spotlight as shares more than doubled during the session, fueled by Reddit cheerleaders who overpowered a large stake sale by a hedge fund.

Bed Bath & Beyond surged as much as 54% after the housewares retailer said it’s launching its own private label brands. Meanwhile, Etsy is spending $1.6 billion to buy Depop, a social shopping app targeted at Gen Z shoppers. Shares of the online marketplace jumped.

Dogecoin climbed as much as 41% as the Coinbase Pro network begins to accept transfers of the meme currency.

Imax and Cinemark were downgraded to “Sell” ratings at Goldman Sachs.

Gold rose 0.3% to $1,906.91 per ounce. Long-dated US Treasury yields fell, with the 10-year yield down at 1.59%.

Oil prices extended gains after OPEC and its allies on Tuesday decided to continue restricting oil inflows into the market while they slowly increase supply. West Texas Intermediate crude gained 1.6%, to $68.81 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, picked up 1.5%, to $71.33 per barrel.

Bitcoin tacked on 3.5% to trade at $37,978.88.

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US stocks rally as investors weigh stalling retail sales and inflation guidance

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

  • Stocks rose Friday even as April retail sales stalled from last month’s jump
  • Fed officials this week have been assuring investors that monetary policy will remain support for economic recovery.
  • Stocks were on course to rise for a second straight session.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

US stocks rose Friday, remaining on higher ground following flat monthly retail sales as investors appeared to lock into assurances by Federal Reserve officials that they will stick with monetary policies that support economic recovery.

All three of Wall Street’s benchmark indexes were on track to build on Thursday’s gains that snapped a three-session losing streak. Advances for stocks Friday came even after the Commerce Department said retail sales in April were virtually unchanged from the previous month. The print missed the estimated 1% increase in sales from economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

Here’s where US indexes stood at 9:30 a.m. on Friday:

Retail sales boomed in March in part as Americans spent stimulus money sent to them by the government in an effort to help the economy continue improving after last year’s COVID-induced recession.

The miss in retail sales appeared to be offset by comments made Friday by Cleveland Fed Bank President Loretta Mester who said in Bloomberg Television on Friday that monetary policy is in a “good place” as officials still work on improving employment levels.

Her view on leaving policy where is it for now followed comments this week by Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller, Fed Governor Lael Brainard and Fed Vice Chairman Richard Clarida who said the central bank will look past likely transitory inflation pressures and stick with near-zero interest rates to aid the world’s largest economy.

Around the markets, Coinbase shares rose following the crypto exchange’s first-quarter results, and as the company said it will soon add dogecoin to its roster of digital currencies to trade.

Gold rose to $1,835 per ounce. Long-dated US treasury yields fell, with the 10-year yield at 1.632%.

Oil prices rose. West Texas Intermediate crude picked up 0.8% to $64.31 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, climbed 1.3% to $67.89 per barrel.

Bitcoin rose 1.3% to $50, 383.

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Dow tumbles 257 points as spike in COVID-19 cases spurs economic-recovery concern

wall street new york stock exchange
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

  • The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered their second straight losses on Tuesday.
  • COVID-19 cases worldwide have risen by more than 10% over the past week.
  • Nike dropped on the Dow but IBM was a winner.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

US stocks dropped Tuesday, with their grip on record highs further loosening as investors worry about the prospects for global economic growth as COVID-19 cases worldwide increase.

The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average each fell for a second consecutive session, pulling back from last week’s strongest finishes on record.

As “stocks fall on back-to-back days for the first time this month, you can probably blame an old culprit: COVID,” said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade, in comments sent to Insider.

Here’s where US indexes stood at 4 p.m. on Tuesday:

Cumulative coronavirus cases worldwide have risen by more than 10% over the past week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, and cases topped 142.3 million on Tuesday. Officials in Japan were considering declaring a virus state of emergency, and the UK imposed a travel ban for visitors from India as that country becomes the new epicenter of the outbreak behind the US. Argentina, meanwhile, is battling another wave of cases.

“Higher-than-expected earnings might not be packing as big a punch as normal, partly because analysts had been raising their earnings estimates before earnings season began,” Kinahan said. “At this point, it’s really more about what companies forecast and less about what happened in Q1.”

IBM shares rose and performed the best among the Dow industrials after the technology company’s first-quarter earnings and revenue beat Wall Street’s targets. But fellow Dow component Nike dropped sharply following a Citi downgrade to neutral from buy on concerns that recent boycotts in China will hurt sales at the athletic wear maker.

Apple shares were lower. The company at its virtual event on Tuesday unveiled, among other products, its AirTags tracking accessory.

Around the markets, Johnson & Johnson shares rose after the company planned to resume COVID-19 vaccine shipments to the European Union.

GameStop stake held by Alaska’s revenue department soared by more than 700% last quarter. Alaska also said its Tesla bet had grown to $85 million in 18 months.

Bitfarms, a Canadian bitcoin-mining company, is planning a new mining site in Argentina that it said would be its largest yet.

Gold rose 0.3%, to $1,776 per ounce. Long-dated US Treasury yields fell, with the 10-year yield down to 1.56%.

Oil prices rose. West Texas Intermediate crude lost 1.2% to $62.61 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, fell 1%, to $66.51 per barrel.

Bitcoin rose to $56,524.

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