Investors See Silver Lining in Surprisingly Bad Jobs Data

Markets increase on hopes the Fed will keep interest rates low
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 7, 2021 3:05 PM CDT
Disappointing Jobs Report Actually Gives a Lift to Stocks
In this photo provided by the New York Stock Exchange, traders work on the floor Friday, May 7, 2021.   (Nicole Pereira/New York Stock Exchange via AP)

Stocks rallied to records on Wall Street Friday despite a stunningly disappointing jobs report, as investors see it helping to keep interest rates low, per the AP. The Dow rose 229 points to 34,777, the S&P 500 rose 30 points to 4,232, and the Nasdaq rose 119 points to 13,752. Voices up and down Wall Street acknowledged that Friday morning's jobs report was a massive disappointment. It's usually the market's most anticipated economic data of each month, and it showed employers added just 266,000 jobs in April. That was far less than the 1 million or so that economists expected and a steep slowdown from March’s hiring pace of 770,000.

“It was a bit of a shock when that headline number hit, but you realize most of, if not all of it, is the result not necessarily of demand, but supply," said Peter Essele, head of portfolio management for Commonwealth Financial Network. ”There seems to be a bit of a labor shortage at the moment." (That shortage has renewed the debate over whether jobless benefits are too generous.) Many analysts said they don't want to put too much emphasis on just one month of discouraging data. They still expect the economy to strengthen mightily as coronavirus vaccinations roll out. The weak jobs number also bolsters the case for the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates low in hopes of boosting the jobs market.

(More stock market stories.)

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