U.S. equity markets charged higher gathering momentum in the final hour of trading. Investors celebrated the better-than-expected February jobs report while shrugging off an early spike in bond yields.
|I:DJI||DOW JONES AVERAGES||33677.27||-68.13||-0.20%|
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 570 points, or 1.85%, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.95% and 1.55%, respectively.
The U.S. economy added 379,000 jobs in February as the unemployment rate ticked down to 6.2%, according to the Labor Department. Economists surveyed by Refinitiv were anticipating the addition of 182,000 jobs as the unemployment rate to hold steady at 6.3%.
The strong report caused the 10-year yield to climbed to 1.63%, its highest level in a year, before ending little changed near 1.55%.
Friday's rally comes a day after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the central bank would remain patient if inflation were to return. That caused bond yields to rise, leading to selling in equities, especially growth stocks, pushing the Nasdaq Composite to the brink of a correction, or down at least 10% from its recent peak.
In stocks, energy led the S&P's gains as West Texas Intermediate crude oil climbed $2.26 to $66.09 per barrel.
|XLE||ENERGY SELECT SECTOR SPDR ETF||47.86||+0.05||+0.10%|
In related news, Chevron Corp. agreed to buy the remaining shares of Noble Midstream Partners LP that it does not already own in a deal that values the pipeline operator at $1.32 billion. Noble Midstream shareholders will receive 0.1393 Chevron shares for each Noble Midstream unit they own.
Elsewhere, technology names sensitive to a continued rise in bond yields saw some relief.
|QQQ||INVESCO QQQ NASDAQ 100||340.60||+3.93||+1.17%|
In earnings, Costco. Co. reported stronger-than-expected quarterly revenue as online sales soared 76% year over year as the shop-from-home trend continued amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Earnings, meanwhile, fell short of estimates as costs rose as a result of wage increases for frontline workers.
|COST||COSTCO WHOLESALE CORP.||365.21||+0.40||+0.11%|
Gap Inc. forecast sales will normalize to pre-pandemic levels in the second half of the year as people return to the office. The retailer sees sales increasing by a mid- to high-teens percentage compared with 2020.
Elsewhere, Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc. Chairman Chamath Palihapitiya sold his entire personal stake in the company for $213 million. Palihapitiya and his partner Ian Osborne still own a 6.5% stake through the investment firm Social Capital Hedosophia.
|SPCE||VIRGIN GALACTIC HOLDINGS INC.||26.88||+0.11||+0.41%|
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. announced plans for a 47.58 million share offering. The cruise line operator plans to use the proceeds to retire debt.
|NCLH||NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE HOLDINGS LTD.||29.41||+0.15||+0.51%|
Overseas markets were lower across the board.
In Europe, Germany’s DAX 30 fell 0.97% while France’s CAC 40 lost 0.82% and Britain’s FTSE 100 declined 0.31%.
Asian markets all lost ground with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index sliding 0.47%, Japan’s Nikkei 225 falling 0.23% and China’s Shanghai Composite slipping 0.04%.