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US STOCKS-S&P 500, Dow hit record highs as weak jobs data eases rate worries

05/07/2021 14:40
US STOCKS-S&P 500, Dow hit record highs as weak jobs data eases rate worries

Mega-cap stocks jump; energy and materials leading S&P

U.S. job growth far below expectations in April

Indexes up: Dow 0.49%, S&P 0.58%, Nasdaq 0.64%

Updates to early afternoon

By Krystal Hu and Shreyashi Sanyal

- The S&P 500 and the Dow hit record highs on Friday, while the Nasdaq recovered along with heavily weighted growth stocks as U.S. jobs data eased concerns over prospects for rising rates.

U.S. job growth unexpectedly slowed in April, likely restrained by shortages of workers, the Labor Department report showed. nL1N2MT2XD

The report alleviated some concerns about rising inflation and potentially higher U.S. interest rates, which some investors worry would hurt growth companies with high valuations.

"The anticipation and confirmation of (Federal Reserve) policy staying the same and continued economic recovery with vaccines rollout have fueled these all-time highs, but we do believe the volatility is going to be tightened in the short term," said Greg Bassuk, chief executive at Axs Investments.

Heavily-weighted growth stocks such as Microsoft Corp MSFT.O, Apple Inc AAPL.O and Alphabet GOOGL.O all rose.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 168.97 points, or 0.49%, to 34,717.5 and the S&P 500 .SPX gained 24.47 points, or 0.58%, to 4,226.09. Both were on track for their best week since March.

The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 87.49 points, or 0.64%, to 13,720.33, but was still set for a weekly decline.

Payments firm Square Inc SQ.N rose 3.7% after reporting a better-than-expected quarterly profit, as surging demand for bitcoin fueled a jump in cryptocurrency transactions on its application. nL4N2MT4VA

Streaming device maker Roku Inc ROKU.O jumped 11.4% following upbeat revenue outlook, while fitness equipment maker Peloton Interactive PTON.O gained 6.1% as it laid out steps to improve the safety of the equipment. nL4N2MT5QW nL4N2MT4SV

Expedia Group Inc EXPE.O shares rose 6.8% as analysts raised price target on hopes that it would continue to benefit from the recovery in the travel industry.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 2.98-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.84-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 147 new 52-week highs and one new low; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 132 new highs and 48 new lows.

(Reporting by Krystal Hu in New York; additional reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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