Tech, strong jobs report lead stocks higher in slow week
Led by technology companies, U.S. stocks rose Friday after a strong February jobs report. Most parts of the market moved higher as investors wait for the Federal Reserve to meet next week. The central bank is almost universally expected to raise interest rates.
The jobs report was a bit better than investors expected, but they had assumed it would show employers are adding jobs at a solid clip. They had also anticipated since last week that the Fed will raise interest rates next Wednesday, and the data did nothing to challenge that. Technology, industrial and health care companies climbed while energy companies missed out on the rally as oil prices continued to fall.
“It was a solid report all around that reinforces that the economy is on solid footing,” said Sameer Samana, a strategist for the Wells Fargo Investment Institute. Samana said investors are glad to see continued hiring and more people seeking work, but they’re also glad the economy isn’t gaining strength too quickly. That might force the Fed to raise interest rates faster, with uncertain effects on the economy.
“If they go too quickly or raise rates too many times, there’s a risk we’ll find ourselves in a downturn,” he said.