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Wall Street roars to life after strong jobs report

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9:30am: Traders start the week on the right foot

The Dow surged nearly 300 points at the open, adding 288, 0.9%, to hit 33,441. The Nasdaq Composite jumped 150 points, 1.1%, to 13,670, and the S&P 500 added 38 points, 1%, to 4,058.

The March jobs report published Friday by the Labor Department indicated that nonfarm payrolls increased by 916,000 in March, the highest since August 2020, while the unemployment rate fell to 6%.

That easily topped Street expectations of 675,000 jobs added, which is driving optimism to start the week.

GameStop Corp (NYSE:GME) is back in the spotlight after announcing it may sell up to $1 billion in stock. The video game retailer and Reddit day trader darling saw its share price decline 6.1% to $179.71.

7:30am: Wall Street set for higher open

US stock futures pointed higher Monday following a strong jobs report that showed US hiring surged in March and ahead of fresh data that is expected to show a solid recovery in the US services sector.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average implied an opening gain of about 200 points. S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures also traded in positive territory.

Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst, Asia Pacific, at OANDA, said: “The price action suggests that the shorter-term market was positioned for a blowout payrolls number, which for once, played the game. US PPI will be closely monitored at the end of the week, as will US Initial Jobless Claims.”

The Labor Department reported Friday that nonfarm payrolls increased by 916,000 in March, the highest since August 2020, while the unemployment rate fell to 6%.

Traders returning from the long holiday weekend focus on more commentary out of the Federal Reserve, with the Federal Open Market Committee’s latest meeting minutes and a speech from Fed Chair Jerome Powell in the latter part of the week.

“US equity markets have been schizophrenic of late, even as they consolidate at record highs. Trading has been dominated by cyclical/2020-darlings tail-chasing on a rolling daily basis,” noted Halley.

Meanwhile, Federal Reserve officials have said they are looking for recovery in the jobs market, alongside sustained 2% inflation, before changing interest rates or altering bond purchases. However, a faster-than-anticipated vaccine rollout and additional stimulus spending have raised bets that the Fed will have to raise interest rates in the next three years.

Anu Gaggar, senior global investment analyst at Commonwealth Financial Network, said: “Faster jobs and wage growth can have an upward pressure on prices and test the Fed’s patience with easy monetary policy.”

Two things to watch out for on Monday:

  • The Institute for Supply Management’s services index for March, due at 10am ET, is expected to show activity is accelerating in the US industries hardest hit by shutdowns
  • Private data firm IHS Markit will also release results from its March survey of purchasing managers in the US services sector at 9:45am

Story by ProactiveInvestors


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