The U.S. stock market extended its rally Friday after better than expected jobs data suggested that the impact of a partial government shutdown on the economy was largely overblown.
Dow Surges Past Major Milestone
All of Wall Street’s major indexes traded higher on Friday, reflecting a mostly upbeat pre-market for U.S. stock futures. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 166 points, or 0.7%, to 25,166.17. Shares of Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM) and Visa Inc. (V) led the Dow blue chips higher.
The broad S&P 500 Index advanced 0.3% to 2,712.55, with seven of 11 primary sectors contributing to the gains. Energy stocks surged 1.9% as oil prices extended their relief rally.
The technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index pared gains to trade 0.1% higher at 7,290.88.
Hiring Picks Up in January
U.S. job creation far exceeded estimates in January, underscoring the labor market’s resiliency in the face of a prolonged government shutdown in Washington.
Nonfarm payrolls increased by a seasonally adjusted 304,000 in January, well above the median forecast calling for 165,000, the Department of Labor reported Friday. The hiring pace also far exceeded last year’s average monthly job growth. The December hiring rate was revised down from 312,000 to a still-robust 222,000.
Unemployment ticked up to 4% from 3.9% as more people entered the workforce.
Average hourly earnings grew just 0.1% on month, slightly below forecasts, which translated into a year-over-year gain of 3.2%.
The job numbers indicate that the impact of a partial government shutdown on the U.S. economy was largely overblown. Roughly 800,000 federal workers were furloughed during the impasse.
An agreement to reopen government temporarily was reached last Friday after President Donald Trump, and congressional leaders worked out a stopgap spending measure. Under the measure, the affected government agencies would reopen for three weeks as Democrats and Republicans negotiate a more permanent funding solution. Trump has warned that he will declare a national emergency if Democrats refuse to grant his request for additional border-security funding in the next budget.
Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. Chart via TradingView.
Last modified: March 4, 2021 2:53 PM