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Wall Street Rises Midday, Treasuries Edge Up After Slower Job Growth Data

05/07/2021 09:15

01:00 PM EDT, 05/07/2021 (MT Newswires) -- US stocks charged higher in midday trading on Friday, pushing two key indexes to fresh highs, after data showed US job growth slowed last month, soothing fears over a rapid shift in monetary policy. US Treasuries slightly gained.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 159.60 points, or 0.46%, to 34,708.13. The S&P 500 added 33.82 points, or 0.80%, to 4,235.44, and the Nasdaq Composite soared 183.37 points, or 1.35%, to 13,816.21.

At current levels, the Dow and the S&P have again surpassed their record levels from the past few days while the Nasdaq is sitting near its record high from April. The Dow is heading for its first weekly rise in three weeks.

In the US bond markets, the 10-year Treasury yield fell to 1.561% from 1.568% at close on Thursday, after gaining earlier. The benchmark yield has stayed below 1.7% recently as the US federal Reserve pledged to retain its loose policy.

On Friday, data showed a 266,000 increase in nonfarm payrolls in April following March's revised increase of 770,000, while market forecasts were expecting 1 million gain.

"By no means does this represent sufficient progress for the Fed to embark on the exit from its loose monetary policy," Commerzbank senior economists Bernd Weidensteiner and Christoph Balz said in a note. "A series of strong data are needed for this, as the central bank emphasizes."

Meanwhile, Roku (ROKU) jumped 13% after the company swung to a net profit in the first quarter

"Roku's show is far from over," Wedbush analysts Michael Pachter and Alicia Reese said. "The recent pullback provides an attractive entry-point given our view that Roku is a long-term growth story with plenty of runway ahead."

Expedia (EXPE) rose more than 8%, News Corp (NWSA) and Motorola (MSI) added over 5% following their better-than-expected quarterly performance.

On the energy front, oil prices rose, with US West Texas Intermediate up 0.4% to $64.96 per barrel and Brent crude up 0.4% to $68.39. Natural gas price added 1.8% to $2.98 per 1 million BTU. Oil majors also gained, with Exxon Mobil (XOM), ConocoPhillips (COP) and Chevron (CVX) all higher.

Among the gainers, Auris Medical (EARS) rose 14% after it reported positive data from a study of AM-301, the company's nasal spray to protect against airborne viruses and allergens. Acasti Pharma (ACST) added 22% after striking a deal to acquire privately-held Grace Therapeutics. LM Funding (LMFA) was up 24% after announcing a 1-for-5 reverse stock split.

On the losing side, Orphazyme (ORPH) fell 28% after its phase 3 trial of arimoclomol to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis failed to meet its primary or secondary endpoints.

F-star Therapeutics (FSTX) dropped 15% after the company priced a $65 million offering of common stock. ChemoCentryx (CCXI) shed 57% after securing only a narrow backing from the arthritis advisory committee of the US Food and Drug Administration for its avacopan drug candidate, triggering a slew of stock rating downgrades.

In the precious metals markets, gold was 1.2% firmer to $1,836.50 an ounce, and silver was up 0.1% to $27.52 an ounce. Copper rose 3%.