Stocks Soar; Dow Gains 200 Points on Jobs Data
Stocks closed sharply higher Friday as the monthly employment report suggested economic growth is tepid enough for the Federal Reserve to maintain its bond-buying program over the next few months.
(Read More: Markets May Have Gone Too Far on Taper Talk: Plosser)
The Dow Jones Industrial Average shot up more than 200 points, boosted by Boeing and Disney. The Dow had its second best day of the year. Only the first trading session of the year was better.
For the week, the Dow gained 0.9 percent, the S&P 500 added 0.8 percent and the Nasdaq rose 0.4 percent.
Most key S&P sectors ended higher, led by industrials and consumer discretionary.
"I think you want to get more cyclical as the summer progresses [because] the economy actually is starting to get a little bit better," said John Manley, chief equity strategist at Wells Fargo Funds Management. "The economy is weak and getting better—I want to own the stock market when things are bad and going to good."
Stocks gyrated in rocky trading Thursday as the U.S. dollar tumbled against the yen and amid ongoing questions over the murky future of the central bank's stimulus program. Major averages eventually finished at session highs and the Dow regained its footing above the psychologically-important 15,000 level.
"There are things going on in Japan that may come back to haunt us, but buying the dip here is giving us a big rebound here," said Art Cashin, director of floor operations at UBS Financial Services.
(Read More: Yen Rally Sends Shock and Selling Through Markets)
The U.S. added 175,000 jobs in May, according to the Labor Department, indicating the economy was expanding modestly, but not enough to convince the Federal Reserve to pare back its bond-buying program. The unemployment rate edged up to 7.6 percent. Economists surveyed by Reuters expected a gain of 170,000 jobs with the rate holding steady at 7.5 percent.
"I'm disappointed. This number was not that impressive and I don't see a lift off that we should have seen by now if QE was working—we were barely above the consensus, but for it to be a really good number, it had to be above 200,000," said Doug Cote, chief market strategist at ING U.S. Investment Management. "And judging by this number, it's clear that QE3 is not creating sustainable growth."
Employment is a key indicator for the Federal Reserve, and Chairman Ben Bernanke has indicated the central bank could start tapering off its $85 billion bond purchases if the jobs market shows consistent improvement. Other Fed officials have also fanned expectations they are prepared to consider downsizing the asset purchase program.
Meanwhile, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan told CNBC that the central bank should start to taper its $85 billion a month bond-buying program even if the economy is not ready for it, saying that the near-zero interest rate policy has helped stock prices, but the markets need to be prepared for faster-than-expected rise in rates.
"QE is a temporary phenomenon for the market and ultimately, as soon as [the Fed support] ends or tapers off, the market would lose major support," said Cote.
Also on the economic front, consumer credit rose $11.1 billion in April after March's $8.4 billion increase. Economists polled by Reuters forecast a $12.5 billion gain.
Macquarie Research initiated coverage of Citigroup and Morgan Stanley with an "outperform" rating and resumed coverage of Goldman Sachs with a "neutral" rating. Meanwhile, the brokerage initiated coverage of Bank of America with an "underperform" rating and downgraded JPMorgan to "neutral" from "outperform." Still, all five major financials rallied, along with the broader market.
Intel slipped after Piper Jaffray downgraded the chipmaker to "underweight" from "neutral," pointing to the decline in the company's core PC business.
Late on Thursday, federal health advisors recommended relaxing restrictions on GlaxoSmithKline's diabetes drug Avandia, the former blockbuster at the center of one of the biggest drug controversies in recent years. The vote could enlarge the market for Avandia in the U.S. and lay the groundwork for further research into the drug's health risks.
In other news, President Barack Obama will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping in California on Friday. It will be their first meeting since Xi became China's leader and discussions are expected to focus on strengthening Sino-U.S. cooperation.
—By CNBC's JeeYeon Park. Follow JeeYeon on Twitter:
On Tap Next Week:
MONDAY: Fed's Bullard speaks, McDonald's May sales data, E3 videogame event; Earnings from Lululemon, Annie's, Pep Boys
TUESDAY: Small biz optimism index, wholesale inventories, 3-yr note auction, Facebook shareholder mtg, Lululemon shareholder mtg, NewsCorp shareholer Mtg
WEDNESDAY: MBA mortgage applications, oil inventories, 10-yr note auction, Treasury budget, Capitol Hill summit, Caterpillar shareholder mtg; Earnings from H&R Block, Men's Wearhouse
THURSDAY: Jobless claims, retail sales, import & export prices, business inventories, natural gas inventories, 30-yr bond auction, Fed balance sheet/money supply, Groupon shareholder mtg; Earnings from Casey's General Store
FRIDAY: Producer price index, current account, industrial production, consumer sentiment
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