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


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    * Dow posts best weekly gain since March; S&P since
    * All major sectors end higher
    * U.S. job growth far below expectations in April  
    * Dow up 0.66%, S&P 500 up 0.74%, Nasdaq up 0.88%

 (Updates close with volume, prices)
    By Krystal Hu and Caroline Valetkevitch
    NEW YORK, May 7 (Reuters) - The Dow and S&P 500 hit record
closing highs on Friday while registering gains for the week,
and the Nasdaq recovered after 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.
    "Growth names that were taken to the woodshed are getting
another chance, because they will be perceived to be less risky
in an environment where there is a slower recovery, and that's
really what the jobs data is indicating", said Tom Martin,
senior portfolio manager at Globalt Investments.
    Heavily-weighted growth stocks such as Microsoft Corp
 MSFT.O  and Apple Inc  AAPL.O  rose by 1.1% and 0.5%,
respectively, giving the S&P 500 and Nasdaq their biggest
    But gains were broad-based, with all major S&P 500 sectors
ending in the green and energy  SPNY  and real estate  SPLRCR 
leading the advance. Energy and materials  SPLRCM  both hit
fresh highs. 
    The Dow  .DJI  rose 229.23 points, or 0.66%, to 34,777.76,
the S&P 500  .SPX  gained 30.98 points, or 0.74%, to 4,232.6 and
the Nasdaq Composite  .IXIC  added 119.40 points, or 0.88%, to
    For the week, the Dow rose 2.7%, its biggest weekly
percentage gain since March. The S&P 500 gained 1.2%, its best
week since mid-April, while the Nasdaq shed 1.5%.
    "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.
    A raft of upbeat earnings also helped stocks, and S&P 500
earnings are now estimated to have increased 50.4% in the first
quarter from a year ago, which would be the highest growth rate
since the first quarter of 2010, according to Refinitiv data. 
    Payments firm Square Inc  SQ.N  rose 4.2% 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
11.5%following an upbeat revenue outlook, while fitness
equipment maker Peloton Interactive Inc  PTON.O  gained as it
laid out steps to improve the safety of its equipment.*:nL4N2MT5QW*:nL4N2MT4SV
    Expedia Group Inc  EXPE.O  shares rose 5.2% as analysts
raised price targets following the company's upbeat results. 
    Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a
3.27-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.12-to-1 ratio favored advancers.
    The S&P 500 posted 164 new 52-week highs and one new low;
the Nasdaq Composite recorded 164 new highs and 64 new lows.
    Volume on U.S. exchanges was 10.23 billion shares, compared
with the 10.11 billion average for the full session over the
last 20 trading days.      


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

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