The strong jobs report helped push US stocks higher for the week. The S&P 500 rose 0.2%, while the Dow ticked down 0.1% for the week. Abroad, Japan rose 0.3% and Europe edged down 0.2% for the week. The yield on the 10-year Treasury finished the week at 2.53% up slightly from the previous week.
US hiring continued its strong pace in April with 253,000 new hires and the unemployment rate, reaching the lowest level since 1969, dropped to 3.6%. Both readings topped expectations. In addition, hourly wages grew at 3.2% below expectations limiting inflation pressures. Past job reports were revised upward by 16,000.
At the conclusion of the Fed’s meeting they signaled that they don’t foresee making any changes to the Fed Funds rate for some time, continuing to take a wait and see approach. Core inflation has been below their 2% target, spurring some to think a rate cut could be on the horizon.
US and Chinese factory activity eased in April missing expectations.
The eurozone posted 1.5% GDP growth in the first quarter, picking up speed from the fourth quarter.
With half of S&P 500 companies reporting results 76% have beat analysts’ forecasts. Profit is now expected to contract 1.6% form a year earlier less than 4% analysts had expected.