April's big 288,000 jump in new jobs was good news for the economy, but the report sent mixed signals as an unusually high number of people dropped out of the labor force.
The unemployment rate dropped to a surprising 6.3 percent, from 6.7 percent, and the number of nonfarm payrolls was well above the 210,000 expected as jobs were broadly added in retail, construction, restaurants, and professional and business services. March payrolls were also revised higher to 203,000.
Stocks opened slightly higher but later moved lower. Trading in Treasurys was mixed, with the 2-year yield rising and 10-year yields falling to the bottom of its recent range.
Peter Boockvar of Lindsey Group said the 2-year was reflecting the potential for an earlier Fed rate hike because of the lower unemployment rate. But the long end was falling also on concerns that the drop in the labor force indicates a weaker economy, which would exacerbated if the Fed were to move sooner to raise rates.