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The official jobs numbers report that met expectations reassured investors that the Federal Reserve will not curb its bond buying program, lifted major indices higher on Friday. The Dow Jones gained more than 200 points and logged its best day since January 2. Nonfarm payrolls numbers came in slightly higher than expectations, whereas the unemployment rate declined marginally. All ten sectors of the S&P 500 industry groups finished in the green with industrials leading the pack.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) gained 1.4% to close the day at 15,248.12. The S&P 500 added 1.3% to finish Friday’s trading session at 1,643.38. The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 1.3% to end at 3,469.22. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) tumbled 9.0% to settle at 15.14. Consolidated volumes on the New York Stock Exchange, American Stock Exchange and Nasdaq were roughly 6.4 billion shares, in line with 2013’s average of 6.4 billion shares. Advancing stocks outnumbered the decliners. For the 65% that advanced, 33% declined.
Benchmarks rocketed on Friday after the U.S Department of Labor reported nonfarm pay rolls numbers. Jobs numbers were in line with expectations, leading the Street to believe that the Federal Reserve may not taper the bond buying program very soon. The S&P 500 finished in the green for the week after remaining in the red for the two consecutive weeks. The S&P 500 gained 0.9%, the blue chip index inched up 0.9% and the Nasdaq increased 0.4% over the week.
According to the U.S Department of Labor U.S economy added 175,000 jobs in May. This was above the consensus estimate of 164,000. Jobs numbers for the month of April were revised lower to 149,000 from 165,000. Increase in nonfarm employment was boosted by additions from professional and business services, foodservices and drinking places, and retail trade. Professional and business services added 57,000 jobs in May whereas retail trade and health care added 28,000 and 11,000 respectively. Jobs in food services and drinking places increased 38,000. The unemployment rate increased marginally to 7.6% in May from the previous month figure of 7.5%. This was below the consensus estimate of 7.5%.
The S&P 500, blue chip index and Nasdaq are up 15.2%, 16.4% and 14.2%, respectively in 2013 till date. The rally in the stock markets for the year 2013 was primarily driven by the Federal Reserve bond buying program. But the market started to suffer after Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke provided indications on May 22 that the bond buying program would be tapered. He also said that the central bank may think about easing off the bond buying program in its next policy meeting if economic data shows improvement. According to economists, the U.S economy needs to add at least 200,000 jobs per month in the coming months to decrease high unemployment.
Meanwhile, consumer credit increased by $11.1 billion in April. This was below the consensus estimate of $14 billion. Consumer credit surged at an annual rate of 4.7%. Revolving and non-revolving credit increased by 1% and 6.4% annually.
The industrial sector was the biggest gainer among the S&P 500 industry groups and the Industrial Select Sector SPDR (XLI) gained 1.9%. Stocks such as United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE:UPS), 3M Co (NYSE:MMM), Deere & Company (NYSE:DE) United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX) and General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) increased 1.9%, 2.3%, 0.8%, 1.9% and 2.1%, respectively.
The consumer discretionary sector also had a good day and the Consumer Discretionary SPDR (XLY) gained 1.8%. Stocks such as Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT), The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD), The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), and McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD) added 0.1%, 1.9%, 2.7% and 1.7%, respectively.