The blue-chip index Dow Jones Industrial Average rose slightly on Friday after the US Department of Labor posted stronger-than-expected data on job growth. The index added 64.22 points to its value to 25,063.89 points, with best performers being the stocks of Chevron, Exxon Mobil and Merck.
The broader index S&P 500 slightly increased by 0.09% to a level of 2,706.53 points, although the consumer goods sector unnecessarily wiped out 1.9% of its value.
However, the technology benchmark Nasdaq Composite fell by 0.25% to 7,263.87 points with worst performer being Amazon.
The US economy has added 304,000 jobs in January, according to data from the Department of Labor. The figures beat the analysts’ expectations, who projected that the US economy will add 170,000 jobs. This is the hundredth consecutive month of job growth and happens after the 35-day paralysis of the US government. The investors expected the report looking for signs of the state of the economy.
However, the report also included a downward revision of job growth data in December. The wages in January also rose much slower than expected.
Wall Street was also watching the trade talks between China and the United States. Negotiators from both sides said they had made “significant progress”. The US President Donald Trump also said he would soon meet his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, in an attempt to reach a comprehensive trade deal. Markets have been shaken by the possibility of high-level trade talks in the coming weeks, but good moods soon cooled off after the White House said that March 1 is a firm deadline to reach an agreement.
The Wall Street indexes movement on Friday comes as Wall Street recorded its biggest January growth since 1987. Strong statements and the Federal Reserve’s indication that it will pause raising interest rates have strengthened investors’ confidence. The S&P 500 ended January with a growth of over 7%.
January rallies usually forecast a positive year for the stock. Since 1950, the S&P 500 has finished the calendar year with growth in 87% of cases when January was a positive month.
In the bond markets, the yields on 10-year and 30-year US government bonds rose to 2.684% and 3.025% respectively.
In currency markets, the US dollar index, which measures the value of the currency against a basket of six major currencies, remains unchanged at 95.58 points. The Euro appreciates by 0.12% against the US dollar to 1.1459 USD. Compared to the Japanese yen, the dollar rises by 0.57% to 109.48 JPY.
On the commodity markets, the price of crude oil grew by nearly 3% on Friday, after the strong US job data boosted expectations of higher fuel demand. There are signs that US sanctions against Venezuelan oil exports have helped to tighten supply.
The futures on US light WTI crude ended Friday’s session with a rise of 1.47 USD to a level of 55.26 USD per barrel. WTI posted a weekly growth of nearly 3%.
The Brent variety added 1.91 USD per barrel to 62.75 USD per barrel. Brent is about to mark a weekly growth of about 2%.
The US gold futures wiped out 3.10 USD of their value to 1,322.10 USD per troy ounce.
Corporaste stocks performance and earnings
Over 45% of S&P 500 companies have announced their earnings already this season. More than 68.1% of them surpassed analysts’ expectations.
The major US indices were also influenced by key earnings reports of companies such as Amazon, Merck and Exxon Mobil.
On Thursday, Amazon surpassed revenue and earnings expectations for the fourth quarter. However, the company publishes weaker-than-expected first quarter guidance. This has pushed Amazon’s stock price down by 4%.
At the same time, Merck announced better-than-expected earnings and earnings, resulting in a 3.5% increase in its stock. The stock price of Exxon Mobil increased by 3.88% after the company announced a better than expected profit. Chevron’s stock also rose by 3.9% thanks to higher-than-expected earnings.