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U.S. Stock Futures Gain on Strong Jobs Data: Markets Wrap

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Kamaron Leach and Vildana Hajric
·3 min read
U.S. Stock Futures Gain on Strong Jobs Data: Markets Wrap
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(Bloomberg) -- U.S. equity futures rallied after data showed the biggest jobs increase in seven months, adding to evidence that the economy is picking up steam. Most other markets were closed for Good Friday.

S&P 500 futures extended gains after the March jobs report, which said employers added 916,000 workers, and February employment was revised up. The yield on the 10-year Treasury added three basis points to 1.70%. Treasuries will be open for a half-day session today, while the New York Stock Exchange is closed.

The jobs data “sets a strong tone because certainly most people will assume that employment prospects look very, very good with the confluence of improving virus conditions and the stimulus that’s been added to the economy,” Russell Price, chief economist at Ameriprise Financial Inc., said in a phone interview.

The Labor Department report also showed that the unemployment rate fell to 6%, as the workforce participation rate edged higher. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists was for a 660,000 gain in payrolls in March. It’s a strong sign for the economy as more people get vaccinated, schools reopen and Americans start going on vacations and spending cash outside the home.

Also adding to the bullish sentiment in markets is President Joe Biden’s plan to spend $2.25 trillion rebuilding infrastructure, though questions remain about how much of it can actually be delivered.

Elsewhere, stocks in Japan and South Korea advanced on Friday, helped by chipmakers. Biden’s top national security and economic advisers plan to meet April 12 with semiconductor and auto companies to discuss the global shortage of microprocessors, according to people familiar with the matter.

On Thursday, the benchmark S&P 500 Index closed above 4,000 for the first time. Oil climbed after the OPEC+ alliance agreed to increase production gradually over the next three months.

Navigating the Recovery Trade Is Getting a Whole Lot Trickier

Some key events to watch this week:

U.S. employment report for March on Friday.Good Friday starts the Easter weekend in countries including the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Australia and Canada.

These are some of the main moves in financial markets:

Stocks

S&P 500 futures were up 0.5% as of 9:09 a.m. in New York. The S&P 500 Index increased 1.2% Thursday.Japan’s Topix index climbed 0.7%.South Korea’s Kospi index advanced 0.9%.China’s Shanghai Composite added 0.3%.

Currencies

The yen was steady at 110.72 per dollar.The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.3% Thursday.The euro slipped $1.1755.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries added three basis points to 1.70%.

Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude rose 3.9% to $61.45 a barrel on Thursday.Gold was at $1,730 an ounce.

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