US STOCKS-S&P 500, Dow hit record highs as weak jobs data eases rate worries


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    * Mega-cap stocks jump; energy and materials leading S&P 
    * U.S. job growth far below expectations in April  
    * Indexes up: Dow 0.49%, S&P 0.58%, Nasdaq 0.64%

 (Updates to early afternoon)
    By Krystal Hu and Shreyashi Sanyal
    May 7 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Dow hit record highs
on Friday, while the Nasdaq recovered along with heavily
weighted growth stocks as U.S. jobs data eased concerns over
prospects for rising rates.
    U.S. job growth unexpectedly slowed in April, likely
restrained by shortages of workers, the Labor Department report
    The report alleviated some concerns about rising inflation
and potentially higher U.S. interest rates, which some investors
worry would hurt growth companies with high valuations.
    "The anticipation and confirmation of (Federal Reserve)
policy staying the same and continued economic recovery with
vaccines rollout have fueled these all-time highs, but we do
believe the volatility is going to be tightened in the short
term," said Greg Bassuk, chief executive at Axs Investments.
    Heavily-weighted growth stocks such as Microsoft Corp
 MSFT.O , Apple Inc  AAPL.O  and Alphabet  GOOGL.O  all rose.
    The Dow Jones Industrial Average  .DJI  rose 168.97 points,
or 0.49%, to 34,717.5 and the S&P 500  .SPX  gained 24.47
points, or 0.58%, to 4,226.09. Both were on track for their best
week since March.
    The Nasdaq Composite  .IXIC  added 87.49 points, or 0.64%,
to 13,720.33, but was still set for a weekly decline.
    Payments firm Square Inc  SQ.N  rose 3.7% after reporting a
better-than-expected quarterly profit, as surging demand for
bitcoin fueled a jump in cryptocurrency transactions on its
    Streaming device maker Roku Inc  ROKU.O  jumped 11.4%
following upbeat revenue outlook, while fitness equipment maker
Peloton Interactive  PTON.O  gained 6.1% as it laid out steps to
improve the safety of the equipment.*:nL4N2MT5QW*:nL4N2MT4SV
    Expedia Group Inc  EXPE.O  shares rose 6.8% as analysts
raised price target on hopes that it would continue to benefit
from the recovery in the travel industry. 
    Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a
2.98-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.84-to-1 ratio favored advancers.
    The S&P 500 posted 147 new 52-week highs and one new low;
the Nasdaq Composite recorded 132 new highs and 48 new lows.  

 (Reporting by Krystal Hu in New York; additional reporting by
Shreyashi Sanyal and Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by
Maju Samuel)

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