Stocks ended higher on Friday, with the S&P 500 below a record close, and tech stocks rose after the United States added fewer than expected jobs to payrolls in May.
However, the employment report suggested that the employment outlook may be slowly improving.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 179 points, or 0.52%, at 34.756 and the S&P 500 gained 0.88% to nearly 4230, close to its May 7 record close at 4232.
During the week, the industrial Dow was up 0.7%, the S&P 500 was up 0.6% and the Nasdaq added 0.5%.
The US economy added 559,000 jobs last month, below forecasts of 650,000 but more than double the 266,000 in April.
Wages were up 2% from last year, adding to inflation concerns and underscoring the challenge employers face in getting workers back to market during the final months of the coronavirus pandemic.
The unemployment rate fell to 5.8% in May from 6.1%, the Labor Department reported.
“Recruitment is at the highest level we have seen in the last four years; however, a full recovery is being held back by a shortage of job candidates and their hesitancy to return to the workforce,” said Andrew Hunter, co-founder and economist of the job search company Adzuna.
“With federal unemployment benefits expiring after Labor Day and a handful of states already trying to convince candidates to pay worker hiring bonuses, the recovery is very likely to pick up in the coming months,” he added Hunter.
Investors have started scrutinizing labor data to see how it might affect the Federal Reserve’s next steps in monetary policy.
Wall Street has been watching closely for signs of inflation and signs of whether the Fed could slow the recovery in the US economy earlier than expected.
Fed officials have repeatedly said that it is too early to withdraw support for an economy that is just beginning to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Loretta Mester, president of the Cleveland Fed, told CNBC that May job gains were “solid” but not enough to change the direction of monetary policy.
AMC entertainment (AMC) – Get report ended with a drop of 6.7% on Friday. The stock move followed a stock sale that raised $ 587 million for the struggling theater chain, which has become a favorite with the retail merchant crowd.
Chief Executive Officer Adam Aron defended another round of capital raising that would give AMC the ability to pursue “value creation opportunities” for its army of retail investors. AMC is seeking approval to sell 25 million shares sometime next year.
Meanwhile, a cryptic tweet from Tesla (TSLA) – Get report CEO Elon Musk hinted at a breakout with Bitcoin, prompting the world’s largest cryptocurrency to crash early Friday.
Bitcoin was down 4.37% to $ 36,982 following Musk’s tweet in which he wrote the hashtag #Bitcoin with a heartbroken emoji. He also referenced the lyrics to “In the End”, a Linkin Park song.