U.S. re­port on hir­ing buoys stocks

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - BUSINESS & FARM - MAR­LEY JAY

NEW YORK — U.S. stocks climbed Fri­day af­ter the gov­ern­ment said hir­ing grew at a stronger pace in June. Tech­nol­ogy and con­sumer-fo­cused com­pa­nies led the way as in­vestors were glad to see a pos­i­tive sign for the econ­omy.

The Stan­dard & Poor’s 500 in­dex rose 15.43 points, or 0.6 per­cent, to 2,425.18. The Dow Jones in­dus­trial av­er­age gained 94.30 points, or 0.4 per­cent, to 21,414.34. It fell 158 points a day ear­lier. The Nas­daq com­pos­ite rose 63.61 points, or 1 per­cent, to 6,153.08. The Rus­sell 2000 in­dex of smaller-com­pany stocks added 15.02 points, or 1.1 per­cent, to 1,415.84.

The La­bor De­part­ment said Amer­i­can em­ploy­ers added 222,000 jobs last month. That was more than an­a­lysts had ex­pected, and it came just a day af­ter a sur­vey that showed weaker job creation by pri­vate com­pa­nies. Stocks re­gained much of the ground they lost Thurs­day. Tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies jumped, and re­tail­ers Ama­zon and McDonald’s traded higher.

“The data it­self shows a pretty strong la­bor mar­ket,” said Sean Lynch, co-head of global eq­uity strat­egy for the Wells Fargo In­vest­ment In­sti­tute. He said it “prob­a­bly lays to rest some of the wor­ries [that] we were tak­ing a step back from an eco­nomic stand­point.”

The gov­ern­ment said more peo­ple looked for work in June, which pushed the un­em­ploy­ment rate slightly higher. The gov­ern­ment also raised its es­ti­mates of job gains in April and May. How­ever av­er­age wage growth re­mained mod­est. Still, com­pa­nies that would ben­e­fit from bet­ter eco­nomic growth, like banks and in­dus­trial com­pa­nies, made strong gains.

Face­book shares rose $2.62, or 1.8 per­cent, to $151.44, and Mi­crosoft rose 89 cents, or 1.3 per­cent, to $69.46 as tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies made the big­gest gains Fri­day. They have done bet­ter than any other in­dus­trial group within the S&P 500 this year.

De­spite Fri­day’s gains, tech­nol­ogy stocks have had a bad month. The Nas­daq com­pos­ite closed at an all­time high June 8, and the S&P 500 tech­nol­ogy in­dex closed at a 17-year-high. Since then, the tech in­dex has dropped 4 per­cent, its worst one-month stretch since Bri­tain voted to leave the Euro­pean Union last June. Ap­ple and Al­pha­bet, Google’s par­ent com­pany, have both fallen al­most 8 per­cent in that time, while chip­maker Nvidia is down 10 per­cent, and smaller chip and chip equip­ment com­pa­nies have taken even sharper losses.

“If the mar­kets are to go higher, it’s got to come from some­where other than tech­nol­ogy,” said Lynch.

McDonald’s shares rose $3.18, or 2.1 per­cent, to $156.27. Ama­zon picked up $13.62, or 1.4 per­cent, to $978.76, and Net­flix ad­vanced $3.93, or 2.7 per­cent, to $150.18. Home­builder D.R. Hor­ton added $1.30, or 3.8 per­cent, to $35.79.

Bench­mark U.S. crude oil fell $1.29, or 2.8 per­cent, to $44.23 a bar­rel in New York. Brent crude, used to price in­ter­na­tional oils, fell $1.40, or 2.9 per­cent, to $46.71 per bar­rel in Lon­don. An­a­lysts said in­vestors are fo­cused on the strong in­crease in U.S. pro­duc­tion in Thurs­day’s en­ergy sup­ply re­port. Hess shares fell $1.04, or 2.4 per­cent, to $41.79, and Devon En­ergy gave up 64 cents, or 2.1 per­cent, to $29.54.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Trea­sury note rose to 2.39 per­cent from 2.37 per­cent. Big-div­i­dend stocks like phone com­pa­nies, house­hold goods mak­ers and util­i­ties mostly lagged be­hind the mar­ket as in­vestors who sought yield were lured else­where.

Gold sank $13.60, or 1.1 per­cent, to a four-month low of $1,209.70 an ounce. Sil­ver dropped 56 cents, or 3.5 per­cent, to $15.43 an ounce. Cop­per lost 1 cent to $2.65 a pound.

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