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S&P 500 rises after solid job gains in May, sits less than 1% below its record

S&P 500 rises after solid job gains in May, sits less than 1% below its record

04 Jun 2021

U.S. stocks climbed on Friday as the key May jobs report showed solid gains, boosting confidence in the economic comeback.

The S&P 500 rose 0.5%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 110 points higher. The Nasdaq Composite gained 0.7%. The S&P 500 is sitting 0.6% from its all-time high reached last month. The equity benchmark has lost about 0.3% this week through Thursday.

The U.S. economy added 559,000 jobs in May, the Labor Department said on Friday. The number came in slightly lower than an estimate of 671,000 from economists surveyed by Dow Jones, but still showed a healthy rebound in the labor market as it’s up from a disappointing 266,000 payrolls added in April.

The unemployment rate fell to 5.8% from 6.1%, which was better than the estimate of 5.9%. Many believe the jobs report, while solid, is not strong enough to trigger the Federal Reserve to dial back its bond buying program.

The jobs number is “goldilocks for risk,” said John Briggs, global head of strategy at NatWest Markets. It’s “not too hot to bring in the Fed and not too cold to worry about the economy.”

The 10-year Treasury yield dipped slightly following the jobs report. Bond yields had jumped higher in recent months amid rising inflation expectations.

“While the job gains were somewhat modest relative to expectations, the good news is the figure rebounded from last month’s disappointing miss,” said Charlie Ripley, senior investment strategist at Allianz Investment Management. “Overall, today’s report does provide progress in the right direction.”

Meme stocks continued their wild prices swings on Thursday, especially AMC Entertainment. The movie theater chain’s stock swung between losses and gains after shedding 18% in the previous session. BlackBerry also traded lower Friday, but shares are still up more than 50% on the week.

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— with reporting from CNBC’s Patti Domm.