Here Are 4 Hot Things to Know About Stocks Right Now
- The U.S. added 313,000 jobs in February, well above estimates, while wage growth moderated.
- The Nasdaq jumped 1.79% Friday to close at a new record of 7,560.
- Friday marks the nine-year anniversary of the bull market, the second-largest and second-longest bull market ever, according to LPL Financial.
- For the week the Dow jumped 3.25%, the S&P 500 gained 3.54% and the Nasdaq rose 4.17%
Wall Street Overview
Stocks roared higher on Friday, March 9, after the U.S. added 313,000 new jobs in February, well above estimates and the biggest increase since mid-2016.
Wage growth moderated to 2.6%, below economists' forecasts for a 2.8% gain over the past 12 months. The unemployment rate held at a 17-year low of 4.1% for the fifth straight month. Hourly pay rose 4 cents to $26.75 an hour.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 440 points, or 1.77%. The S&P 500 gained 1.74%. The Nasdaq jumped 1.79% to close at a new record of 7,560. Leading the Dow higher were Intel Corp. (INTC - Get Report) , Chevron Corp. (CVX - Get Report) and Caterpillar Inc. (CAT - Get Report) .
The primary takeaway from the strong jobs report was that the Federal Reserve will continue along its path of raising interest rates gradually. Economists expect the central bank to raise rates three times in 2018. A rate increase at a meeting later this month of the Fed's monetary-policy committee is deemed by most traders to be a near certainty.
Investors also reacted positively to news of a potential summit between the U.S. and North Korea that could significantly reduce tensions in Asia, but remained cautious following Donald Trump's order on trade tariffs.
Stocks finished higher on Thursday, March 8, as investors absorbed details of Trump's announcement on steel and aluminum tariffs. The Dow rose 93 points, or 0.38%, to 24,895, the S&P 500 rose 0.45% and the Nasdaq gained 0.42%.
Netflix Inc. (NFLX - Get Report) shares rose 4% on Friday following a report that former President Barack Obama was in "advanced" talks to produce a series of exclusive programs for the video streaming company.
The New York Times reported that the former president and his wife, Michelle Obama, would partner on a series of "inspirational" programs for Netflix's 118 million global subscribers. While not designed to directly attack the polices of Donald Trump, the Times reported that the programs would focus on issues such as healthcare, voting rights, foreign policy and immigration. The paper also reported that Apple Inc. (AAPL - Get Report) and Amazon Inc. (AMZN - Get Report) were also interested in speaking to the former first couple on content creation deals.
U.S. toy company shares fell Friday amid reports that bankrupt Toys "R" Us was preparing for a possible liquidation if it can't cut a deal with its creditors.
Multiple media reports suggested the liquidation move could come as early as Monday, March 12, when Toys "R" Us is scheduled to appear in bankruptcy court as part of its September 2017 Chapter 11 filing in September 2017. The news followed several recent reports that pointed to the likelihood that the company's holiday earnings had fallen short of expectations and an announcement that it would shutter at least 150 of its 880 locations.
GoPro Inc. (GPRO - Get Report) , the struggling action-camera maker, has failed to attract the serious interest of any bidders after hiring JPMorgan Chase & Co. last year to explore a possible sale, two sources told the New York Post. The stock fell 4%.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS - Get Report) shares were up 1.5% on a report from The Wall Street Journal that said CEO Lloyd Blankfein was preparing to step down from the firm as soon as the end of the year.