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Stocks Rally As Jobs Report Rekindles Rate Cut Hopes, Apple Rockets, Bitcoin Soars Above $61,000: What's Driving Markets Friday?

Piero Cingari
May 03, 2024

A weaker-than-expected jobs report sparked a widespread market rally in the last session of the week, as traders increased expectations on potential interest rate cuts later this year.

In April, nonfarm payrolls expanded by 175,000 jobs, marking a significant slowdown from March’s robust pace of 315,000 and notably falling short of the anticipated 238,000.

Unexpectedly, the unemployment rate edged higher, while average hourly earnings softened more than forecasted, both indicating a slowdown in momentum within the labor market.

On a separate note, the latest surveys on service sector activity revealed an unexpected contraction in April, as reported by the Institute for Supply Management.

Chicago Fed President Austan Goolsbee welcomed results from the jobs report, emphasizing that it boosts confidence that the economy is not overheating and inflation is not reaccelerating.

The S&P 500 surged by 1.2%, pushing the overall weekly performance into positive territory. The Nasdaq 100 experienced a remarkable 2% surge, marking its most robust performance in over two months. Among tech giants, Apple Inc. made headlines, rising nearly 7% following the announcement of a record-breaking $110-billion buyback program. The Cupertino, California-based company also beat both earnings and revenue estimates last quarter.

Blue chips and small-cap stocks also rose, with the iShares Russell 2000 ETF (NYSE:IWM) up by 0.9%.

Yields experienced a broad decline, with the two-year Treasury yield now settling at 4.8% after reaching a peak of 5.05% earlier in the week.

The overall optimistic risk sentiment spurred gains in more speculative areas of the market, leading to a rise in cryptocurrencies across the board. Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) surged by 4.8%, surpassing the $61,000 mark.

Read also: Why Bitcoin Spiked Above $62,000 Following The April Jobs Report

Friday’s Performance In Major US Indices, ETFs

Major IndicesPrice1-day %chg
Nasdaq 10017,881.251.9%
Dow Jones38,677.361.2%
S&P 5005,126.341.2%
Russell 20002,033.910.9%
Updated at 1:30 p.m. EDT

The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE:SPY) rose 1.2% to $511.54, the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSE:DIA) rose 1.2% to $386.42 and the tech-heavy Invesco QQQ Trust (NASDAQ:QQQ) rocketed 1.9% to $435.11, according to Benzinga Pro data

Sector-wise, the Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund (NYSE:XLK) outperformed, up 2.8%, followed by the Communication Services Select Sector SPDR Fund (NYSE:XLC), up 0.8%. The Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (NYSE:XLE) was the major laggard, down 0.7%.

Monday’s Stock Movers

  • Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN) rose over 13% following upbeat quarterly results.
  • Other stocks reacting to earnings were Booking Holdings Inc. (NYSE:BKNG), up about 4%, MercadoLibre Inc. (NASDAQ:MELI) up 11%, EOG Resources Inc. (NYSE:EOG) down 1.6%, Monster Beverage Corp. (NASDAQ:MNST) up 1.9%, Coinbase Global Inc. (NASDAQ:COIN) down 4%, Expedia Group Inc. (NYSE:EXPE) down over 13%, Fortinet Inc. (NASDAQ:FTNT) down over 8%, Block Inc. (NASDAQ:SQ) mostly flat, Coterra Energy Inc. (NYSE:CTRA) up over 3%, The Hershey Company (NYSE:HSY) up 1.3%, Cheniere Energy Inc. (NYSE:LNG) down 1.6%, CBRE Group Inc. (NYSE:CBRE) down 1%, Corebridge Financial Inc. (NYSE:CRBG)

Read now: Sell In May And Go Away: Does The Trading Strategy Hold Up In Election Years?

Photo via Shutterstock.

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