Saturday, 6 May 2017

US stocks hit records amid good jobs report

US stocks hit record highs on Friday.

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite rose rose 0.4 percent to close at new all-time highs.

Elsewhere, the STOXX Europe 600 rose 0.7 percent to end at a 21-month high but the Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.9 percent.

US stocks were supported by a good jobs report. The Labor Department reported on Friday that the US economy created 211,000 jobs in April while the unemployment rate fell to 4.4 percent from 4.5 percent.

“April employment data should put to rest concerns that somehow the economy was slowing to a complete stall,” said Stephen Blitz, chief US economist at TS Lombard.

In Europe, investors were focused on the French presidential election on Sunday, where centrist Emmanuel Macron is expected to beat far-right Marine Le Pen.

Peter Donisanu, analyst at Wells Fargo, said that while “the most immediate effect of a Macron win on Sunday would be to ameliorate concerns about the rise of populism in Europe for at least the next few months”, there could be “a short-term ‘buy the rumor, sell the news’ pullback in European risk assets”.

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