Wall Street jumps as historic job losses better than feared

By C Nivedita and Medha Singh (Reuters) - Wall Street's main indexes gained on Friday as staggering job losses in April due to the coronavirus outbreak were still slightly better than feared, adding to optimism from an easing in U.S.-China friction. Official figures showed nonfarm payrolls plummeted 20.5 million in April - their steepest plunge since the Great Depression. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 22 million job losses

Reuters May 09, 2020 00:05:41 IST
Wall Street jumps as historic job losses better than feared

Wall Street jumps as historic job losses better than feared

By C Nivedita and Medha Singh

(Reuters) - Wall Street's main indexes gained on Friday as staggering job losses in April due to the coronavirus outbreak were still slightly better than feared, adding to optimism from an easing in U.S.-China friction.

Official figures showed nonfarm payrolls plummeted 20.5 million in April - their steepest plunge since the Great Depression. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 22 million job losses.

"There were whispers that the number could come in much worse," said Darrell Cronk, chief investment officer at Wells Fargo Wealth & Investment Management in New York.

"The fact they didn't come in higher is a bit of a relief rally. The market is exhaling a little bit on the fact that the worst jobs report in modern history wasn't even worse."

Wall Street's indexes are now on course for their first weekly gain in three weeks, with the Nasdaq recouping all its losses for 2020, as investors pinned their hopes on supply chains coming back on track and a revival in consumer spending as several U.S. states reopened economies.

On Thursday, financial markets began pricing in a negative U.S. interest rate environment for the first time ever, expecting the Federal Reserve to pump even more cash into the system to rescue the economy from a deep global recession.

Also lifting the mood on Friday, Beijing said Sino-U.S. trade negotiators had agreed to improve the atmosphere for the implementation of a Phase 1 deal, days after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to impose new tariffs.

Wall Street's fear gauge slipped to its lowest since early March, consistently easing from levels last seen during the global financial crisis.

At 12:45 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 368.28 points, or 1.54%, at 24,244.17, the S&P 500 was up 41.72 points, or 1.45%, at 2,922.91. The Nasdaq Composite was up 140.44 points, or 1.56%, at 9,120.10.

Financial stocks tracked a rise in Treasury yields, while energy stocks jumped on the back of higher oil prices. [US/] [O/R]

Disney rose 2.3% as tickets for the earliest days of Shanghai Disneyland's re-opening in China sold out rapidly.

Uber Technologies Inc jumped 6.2% as the company said its ride service bookings recovered in recent weeks and that it expects a coronavirus-related slowdown will delay the goal of becoming profitable by a matter of quarters, not years.

Boeing Co rose 2.8% as Chief Executive Officer David Calhoun said in a interview with Fox Business News that the planemaker expects to start production of grounded 737 MAX jet this month.

But Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp fell 2.4% after the IT services and outsourcing firm warned of weak demand this year.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 5.29-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 3.84-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 10 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 55 new highs and one new lows.

(Reporting by C Nivedita and Medha Singh in Bengaluru, additional reporting by Sinead Carew in New York; Editing by Sagarika Jaisinghani, Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Shinjini Ganguli)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.