Tech

Dow, S&P 500 close at record highs after dismal jobs report gives Fed more breathing room

  • The Dow Jones and S&P 500 closed at record highs on Friday after a weak April jobs report gave the Federal Reserve breathing room to continue with its easy monetary policies.
  • April had an addition of 266,000 jobs, well below the forecast of 1 million.
  • The April jobs report represented the worst miss since 1998.

The Dow Jones and S&P 500 closed at record highs on Friday after a weak April jobs report led to investors bidding up popular stay-at-home stocks that have performed well during the pandemic. The Nasdaq led the markets higher but failed to reach a new high.

April had an addition of 266,000 jobs, well below the forecast of 1 million. Unemployment rose to 6.1% from 6%. Economists had expected the rate to fall to 5.8%. The jobs report represented the worst miss since 1998.

The report likely gave the Federal Reserve more breathing room in continuing with its easy monetary policies, with regard to keeping interest rates low and its $120 billion monthly bond purchases.

While the Nasdaq 100 jumped after the release of the April jobs report, the Dow Jones Industrial Average moved lower as cyclical stocks tied to a reopened economy were out of favor.

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 4 p.m. ET close on Friday:

Square jumped 6% after its first-quarter earnings report, which surpassed analyst estimates. The company’s bitcoin revenue rose 1,000% to $3.5 billion, and it disclosed that it’s the third-largest corporate holder of the cryptocurrency.

The surge in bitcoin interest has led to banks opening up new business divisions to gain exposure. A report said Citi was planning to launch its own crypto-trading services, and Goldman is also launching a cryptocurrency trading desk.

A bitcoin exchange-traded fund launched three weeks ago has already attracted $832 million in assets under management as the crypto craze continues.

Since the announcement of a divorce between Bill and Melinda Gates, more than $5 billion worth of stocks have been transferred to Melinda from Bill’s Cascade Investment holding company.

Tilray jumped 10% on a double upgrade from Jefferies, which said its merger with Aphria was a “perfect” match.

Oil prices rose modestly. West Texas Intermediate crude was up 0.05%, to $64.73 a barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, increased by 0.01% to $68.10 a barrel.

Gold jumped to its highest price since February, rising as much as 1.5% to $1,842.59 an ounce.

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