Investors cheered the jobs report Friday, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average up more than 250 points intraday and the tech-heavy NASDAQ to a new high. As reported by CNBC.com, the NASDAQ gained more than 1 percent on the day to ease losses seen over the past month.
The macro data was thus: The Bureau of Labor Statistics released data showing the U.S. economy added 313,000 jobs in February. That more than handily outpaced the gain of 200,000 jobs economists expected, per a Reuters poll. Wages were up less than had been projected, though, gaining just 2.6 percent annualized. This may have allayed investor fears of margin pressures, however, which, in turn, pressured stocks these past few weeks.
“As far as the market is concerned, you couldn’t have scripted it any better,” said JJ Kinahan, chief marketing strategist for online broker TD Ameritrade. “It still remains a mystery how you can create these many jobs and not have wages go up more.”
The gains Friday come on top of positive movement seen Thursday (Mar. 8). As widely noted, President Donald Trump signed orders this week that would put tariffs in place on steel and aluminum imports, specifically 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum. The administration telegraphed that trading “allies” like Mexico and Canada are exempt from those tariffs, however.
“I’m glad to see Canada and Mexico [were] spared in the latest tariff initiatives,” said Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at investment advisor Bleakley Advisory Group, in a note. “But, 75 percent of our trading partners were slapped. I get that China was the real target here, but we import 13 percent of our steel from Brazil, 10 percent from South Korea, 5 percent from Japan, 4 percent from Germany and 3.5 percent from Taiwan, to name some [of the] others.”
CNBC also reported that the bull market had notched its ninth anniversary, with the S&P up 300 percent since Mar. 9, 2009.