Stocks post intraday records despite disappointing jobs report

After an hour of trading, the S&P 500 was up one-and-a-half points at 2,431 while the Dow Jones average was 18 points to the good at 21,163.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 40.02 points to 21,184.20. The index had hit a record high of 21176.30.The S&P 500.SPX was flat at 2,430.12, slightly easing from an all-time high of 2433.37.The Nasdaq Composite.IXIC was up 13.26 points, or 0.21 percent, at 6,260.09.

China's yuan strengthened beyond 6.8 per dollar for the first time since November 11 after the central bank pushed its reference rate, around which the spot rate can fluctuate, 0.8 percent higher.

Other markets: Oil prices fell to three-week lows ( on Friday, partly driven by concerns that President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw ( the USA from the Paris Climate Accord will lead to an increase in USA oil output.

"It's hard to ignore the the USA economy added fewer jobs than expected and, more importantly, the number came in below the 12-month average of 181,000", said Sharon Stark, managing director of fixed income strategies at Incapital. The report was above consensus of 170,000 and also above the prior report of 174,000. The VIX Volatility Index was lower for the day at 9.87 for a loss of 0.54 points or 5.19%. The unemployment rate was at its lowest level since 2001.

A solid jobs report will likely clear the way for the U.S. Federal Reserve to raise interest rates later this month.

Jobs data in the spotlight: After the boost from surprisingly strong private-sector employment numbers, investors will be watching for the nonfarm-payrolls data due at 8:30 a.m. Both the S&P and the Nasdaq hit records in early trading, while the Dow was points away from its own.

Despite the unexpectedly low print on the jobs report, expectations for a rate hike in June did not fall. Meanwhile, the dollar weakened against other major currencies, with the ICE U.S. Dollar index down 0.4% at 96.851.

"It's not because of the climate accord". The Nikkei in Japan performed particularly well with a 1.6% jump. Among the day's biggest movers, Lululemon Athletica Inc. jumped almost 17% after it reported first-quarter results that beat expectations.

The retailer put in a strong finish to its financial; year, with the fourth quarter seeing a 22% year-on-year increase in revenue.

  • Zachary Reyes