U.S. Stocks Rise After Jobs Report

By Akane Otani and Justin Yang Features Dow Jones Newswires

U.S. stocks up after jobs report

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-- Government bond yields and the U.S. dollar rise

-- Euro close to 2 1/2-year high

U.S. stocks rose Friday after the monthly jobs report showed employers continued hiring at a healthy rate in July.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 51 points, or 0.2%, to 22086 shortly after the opening bell, on course to notch a weekly gain. The S&P 500 rose 0.3%, up slightly for the week, and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.3%, but was headed toward a weekly loss.

Major stock indexes have climbed to fresh records in the second half of the year, with the Dow industrials crossing 22000 for the first time Wednesday. Corporate earnings that have pointed to broad strength across industries and a brighter global economic outlook have helped offset more lukewarm growth in the U.S., investors and analysts say.

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Hiring in July Was Better Than Expected

Friday's monthly jobs report was the latest news to show the labor market continues to be a bright spot in the U.S. economic recovery.

Nonfarm payrolls rose by a seasonally adjusted 209,000 in July, the Labor Department said Friday, more than the 180,000 that economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected. Another bright spot from the morning's jobs report: labor-force participation rose while the unemployment rate declined, remaining near a 16-year low.

"Usually there are questions around whether unemployment is just a function of stagnant labor-force participation, but both of these things happening at the same time -- that's a fairly encouraging sign," said Victor Jones, director of trading at TD Ameritrade.

Continued signs of strength in the labor market, matched by earnings growth, should bode well for stock gains heading into the end of the year, Mr. Jones said.

Dollar, Treasury Yields Rise

The U.S. dollar and government bond yields, both of which have been sensitive to expectations of the Fed's interest-rate path, rose following the report. The WSJ Dollar Index, which tracks the dollar against a basket of 16 currencies, jumped 0.5%.

The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note climbed to 2.267%, according to Tradeweb, from 2.230% Thursday. Yields rise as bond prices fall.

European Stocks Gain, Japan Slips

Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.7%.

The stronger euro -- which makes European firms' exports more expensive to foreign buyers -- has been weighing down shares of some companies in the region this year, investors say.

"The euro is getting so strong it may hurt some company profits already. Especially those ones with big overseas holdings," said Bob Homan of ING Investment Office.

The euro was last down 0.2% against the U.S. dollar, but up 11% against the currency year-to-date.

Japan's Nikkei Stock Average closed down 0.4%, with energy and utility firms dragging down the index.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 finished down 0.3% after briefly gaining as the Reserve Bank of Australia trimmed the country's economic-growth forecasts for the next year.

Riva Gold contributed to this article.

Write to Akane Otani at akane.otani@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 04, 2017 10:38 ET (14:38 GMT)