U.S. Stocks Seeing Modest Strength, S&P 500 Reaches New Record High

Following the release of the Labor Department’s closely watched monthly jobs report, stocks are seeing moderate strength in morning trading on Friday. The S&P 500 is moving higher for the seventh straight session, once again reaching a new record intraday high.

Currently, the major averages are off their best levels but remain positive. The Dow is up 37.76 points or 0.1 percent at 34,671.29, the Nasdaq is up 34.79 points or 0.2 percent at 14,557.17 and the S&P 500 is up 12.07 points or 0.3 percent at 4,332.01.

The strength on Wall Street comes after the Labor Department released a report showing a continued reacceleration in the pace of U.S. job growth in the month of June.

The report showed non-farm payroll employment spiked by 850,000 jobs in June after surging by an upwardly revised 583,000 jobs in May.

Economists had expected employment to jump by about 700,000 jobs compared to the addition of 559,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

Following the decrease in employment seen last December, the pace of job growth has bounced back to its highest level since last August.

Meanwhile, the Labor Department said the unemployment rate unexpectedly inched up to 5.9 percent in June from 5.8 percent in May. The unemployment rate was expected to edge down to 5.7 percent.

The stronger than expected job growth paints a positive picture of the gradually reopening economy but is not seen as likely to significantly alter the Federal Reserve’s timeline for tightening monetary policy.

“With further progress toward the Fed’s dual mandate likely over the summer, we anticipate a Fed tapering announcement at the Jackson Hole Symposium in August,” said Lydia Boussour, Lead US Economist at Oxford Economics

She added, “Still, while tapering would start in early 2022, rate liftoff wouldn’t be on the table until early 2023.”

A separate report from the Commerce Department showed the U.S. trade deficit widened roughly in line with estimates in the month of May.

Despite the advance by the broader markets, most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves in morning trading.

Software stocks have shown a notable move to the upside, however, with the Dow Jones U.S. Software Index climbing by 1 percent to a new record intraday high.

Gold stocks are also seeing some strength amid an increase by the price of the precious metal, while energy stocks are giving back ground along with the price of crude oil.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index rose by 0.3 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index plunged by 2 percent.

The major European markets have also turned mixed on the day. While the German DAX Index is up by 0.2 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is just below the unchanged line and the French CAC 40 Index is down by 0.1 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries are rebounding from the pullback seen in the previous session. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 3.9 basis points at 1.441 percent.

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