Data propel S&P, Nasdaq to record highs; oil steadies

Sterling slips on election fears downbeat China PMI weighs on stocks                 


     Kim Kyung Hoon

Sterling slips on election fears downbeat China PMI weighs on stocks Kim Kyung Hoon

US initial jobless jumped 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 248,000 for the week ended May 27, the Labor Department said on Thursday. The S&P 500 climbed 8 points, or 0.3%, to close at 2,438 for a weekly gain of 0.9%.

For the day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 21,144.18 for a gain of 135.53 points or 0.65%.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 9.01 points (0.37 per cent) to finish at 2,439.07, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 58.97 points (0.94 per cent) to 6,305.80.

Nonfarm payrolls increased by 138,000 last month, below the 185,000 expected by economists. Yields rise as prices fall.

The major indexes hit new all-time records despite lower-than-expected numbers from the latest jobs report. The WSJ Dollar Index rose 0.2% while 10-year Treasury yields edged up to 2.217% from 2.198% Wednesday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 were little changed after data showed job growth slowed in May, suggesting that a bounce in the labor market was losing steam.

Cabinet members head to Capitol Hill to defend Trump budget
After negotiations with the Senate, the cut was reduced to an almost-negligible 1 percent that only affected a handful of states. Numerous voters who propelled Trump into the presidency last November would see significantly less from the federal government.

"The market is beginning to rethink the Fed's course and whether there will still be two interest rate increases by the end of the year, plus a reduction of the balance sheet", said Gregori Volokhine, president of Meeschaert Capital Markets.

The Russell 2000 is up 23.14 points, or 1.7 percent. Investors were disappointed by a report showing a slowdown in hiring last month.

Stocks regained their upward trajectory on expectations for the Federal Reserve to hike rates in June, but with just one more tightening later this year anticipated.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 4 cents to settle at $48.36 per barrel. Eastman Chemical rose 2.1 percent and Vertex Pharmaceuticals rose 2.5 percent.

Other markets: Oil prices fell to three-week lows ( on Friday, partly driven by concerns that President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw ( the USA from the Paris Climate Accord will lead to an increase in USA oil output.

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