Dow, S&P 500 add to records as weak jobs report boosts stimulus expectations

Timothy Clary/AFP/Getty Images
  • US equities gained on Friday morning as the weak jobs report spurred investors hopes for a larger fiscal stimulus package to boost the economy.
  • American businesses shed 140,000 nonfarm payrolls last month, the Bureau of Labour Statistics said Friday. The reading is weaker than consensus economist estimates that foresaw 50,000 job additions, according to Bloomberg data.
  • “In the face of endless amounts of readily available fiscal and monetary stimulus, the stock market has so far refused to pay attention to the economic data points that matter, like the weak jobs numbers,” James McDonald, Hercules Investments CEO said.
  • Watch major indexes update live here.

US equities gained on Friday morning as the weak jobs report prompted investors to hope for a larger fiscal stimulus package to boost the economy.

The US economy saw a surprise decline in payrolls in December as stricter COVID-19 lockdown measures extended the nation’s unemployment crisis into the new year. American businesses shed 140,000 nonfarm payrolls last month, the Bureau of Labour Statistics said Friday. The reading is weaker than consensus economist estimates that foresaw 50,000 job additions, according to Bloomberg data.

The country’s unemployment rate stayed steady at 6.7% in December, slightly lower than the median economist estimate of 6.8%.

Here’s where US indexes stood shortly after the 9:30 a.m. ET open on Friday:


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“In the face of endless amounts of readily available fiscal and monetary stimulus, the stock market has so far refused to pay attention to the economic data points that matter, like the weak jobs numbers,” James McDonald, Hercules Investments CEO said.

“We expect stock markets to continue to move higher and bond markets to continue to move lower (price down, yields up) as the likelihood of additional fiscal stimulus out of Washington is high and the continued support of the Federal Reserve is likely as well,” said Chris Zaccarelli, Chief Investment Officer for Independent Advisor Alliance.

Bitcoin hit a new all-time high of more than $US41,000 on Friday morning, staging a rapid recovery despite falling to less than $US37,000 overnight. The red-hot cryptocurrency has more than doubled in value over the last month, and risen over 30% in 2021 so far.

Michael Burry, whose lucrative wager on the US housing bubble’s collapse in 2007 was captured in “The Big Short,” tweeted on Thursday that Tesla stock could implode in a similar fashion. “Well, my last Big Short got bigger and bigger and BIGGER too,” the Scion Asset Management boss said as Tesla jumped 8%. “Enjoy it while it lasts.”


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Meanwhile, billionaire investor Chamath Palihapitiya said Tesla’s stock could be worth three times its current valuation, which would make CEO Elon Musk the first trillionaire.

“Don’t sell a share” of Tesla, Palihapitiya told investors in a CNBC interview on Thursday.

Gold dipped 2%, to $US1,876.51, at intraday lows. The US dollar strengthened against most of its Group-of-10 currency peers, while 10-year Treasury yields climbed further above 1%, where they haven’t been since March.

Oil prices climbed amid a drop in US inventories. West Texas Intermediate crude rose as much as 2%, to $US51.83 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, gained 2.1%, to $US55.50 per barrel, at intraday highs.


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