US STOCKS-S&P hits record, Nasdaq rallies as weak jobs data eases Fed taper worries

Reuters

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    * Mega-cap stocks jump; Financials fall
    * U.S. job growth far below expectations in April  
    * Indexes up: Dow 0.30%, S&P 0.46%, Nasdaq 0.76%

 (Updates prices to open, adds details)
    By Shreyashi Sanyal and Sruthi Shankar
    May 7 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrials
hit record highs on Friday, while the technology-heavy Nasdaq
index jumped after weak U.S. jobs data eased worries about the
Federal Reserve reducing its massive stimulus program anytime
soon.
    The Labor Department's closely watched employment report
showed U.S. employers hired far fewer workers than expected in
April, with nonfarm payrolls increasing by only 266,000 jobs
last month after rising by 770,000 in March.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2MT2XD
    Economists polled by Reuters had forecast payrolls advancing
by 978,000 jobs. Data also showed unemployment rate rose to 6.1%
in April from 6.0% in March.
    Highly valued stocks such as Microsoft Corp  MSFT.O , Apple
Inc  AAPL.O  and Facebook Inc  FB.O  rose between 0.3% and 1%.
    "One number doesn't make a trend, but it takes some of the
heat off the economy overheating and inflation moving
dramatically higher," said Larry Adam, chief investment officer
at Raymond James. 
    "This puts less pressure on the Fed to prematurely talk
about tapering."
    The jobs report alleviated concerns about rising inflation
and potentially higher U.S. interest rates which would weigh on
the valuations of growth companies.
    Ten of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were higher in early
trading, with technology stocks  .SPLRCT  rising 0.7%.
    Financials  .SPSY  dropped 0.3%, with interest
rate-sensitive shares of lenders Bank of America  BAC.N ,
JPMorgan Chase & Co  JPM.N  and Citigroup Inc  C.N  trading flat
to lower. The S&P 500 banks sector  .SPXBK  fell 0.8%.
    At 9:56 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average  .DJI  was
up 105.20 points, or 0.30%, at 34,653.73, the S&P 500  .SPX  was
up 19.24 points, or 0.46%, at 4,220.86 and the Nasdaq Composite
 .IXIC  was up 103.45 points, or 0.76%, at 13,736.29.
    The Nasdaq Composite index  .IXIC  is set to fall 1.2% this
week, its worst weekly decline since early March. The S&P 500
 .SPX  and the Dow Jones Industrial Average  .DJI  indexes,
however, are on track for weekly gains.
    Payments firm Square Inc  SQ.N  rose 5.6% after reporting a
better-than-expected quarterly profit, as surging demand for
bitcoin fueled a jump in cryptocurrency transactions on its
application.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2MT4VA
    Streaming device maker Roku Inc  ROKU.O  jumped 14.6%
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.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2MT5QW  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2MT4SV
    Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 2.05-to-1 ratio
on the NYSE and by a 2.16-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
    The S&P index recorded 70 new 52-week highs and no new low,
while the Nasdaq recorded 82 new highs and 18 new lows.

 (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru;
Editing by Maju Samuel)
 ((Shreyashi.Sanyal@thomsonreuters.com; +1 646 223 8780; +91 961
144 3740; Twitter: https://twitter.com/s_shreyashi;))

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