Tech, strong jobs re­port lead stocks higher in slow week

Austin American-Statesman - - BUSINESS - Markets

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.

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