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US stocks open higher on strong jobs data

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New York: US stocks opened higher on Friday, as investors cheered over better-than-expected employment data.

Shortly after Friday’s opening bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 41.50 points, or 0.19 per cent, to 22,067.60, Xinhua news agency reported.

The S&P 500 gained 5.91 points, or 0.24 per cent, to 2,478.07. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 11.98 points, or 0.19 per cent, to 6,352.33.

US total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 209,000 in July, well above market expectations, and the unemployment rate remained more or less unchanged at 4.3 per cent, according to the US Labor Department on Friday.

“Because last July’s job growth was the second strongest of the year, the 12-month average of job creation actually dropped a bit, which puts this month’s report very nicely into perspective. All the key data were stronger than expected, but none were really all that strong,” said Chris Low, chief economist of FTN Financial.

Traders kept a close eye on the nonfarm payroll report and tried to find clues on when the Federal Reserve might start the balance sheet reduction and increase the interest rate.

“Since the next likely rate decision is in December anyway, this report is not likely to have much impact on the Fed, especially because there is absolutely nothing here to suggest delaying the start of balance sheet reduction, which is most likely the FOMC’s (Federal Open Market Committee) next move,” Low added.

The Dow has risen over 11 per cent and recorded three 1,000-point milestones in 2017. The benchmark climbed above 22,000 on Wednesday, lifted by strong earnings, and posted its seventh straight record close on Thursday.

IANS

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