Fri. 9:54 a.m.: Flat open on Wall Street after April jobs report disappoints
NEW YORK (AP) — Indexes are opening flat on Wall Street this morning after a disappointing report on hiring in the U.S. caused bond yields to tumble. America’s employers added just 266,000 jobs last month, more than three times fewer than Wall Street’s experts had predicted. Healthcare stocks bucked the trend, led by McKesson, which rose after reporting its fourth quarter earnings. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note dropped to 1.53 percent. The lower-than-expected hiring figures seemed to calm some of the inflation fears that have overhung markets for weeks, although the report also showed that average wages rose more than expected.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story appears below.
Technology stocks jumped and shares of financial companies sank in premarket trading after a disappointing report on hiring in the U.S. caused bond yields to tumble.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note dropped to 1.53 percent after the Labor Department said America’s employers added just 266,000 jobs last month, sharply lower than in March and well below expectations. The yield on the 10-year stood at 1.57 percent just before the report was issued.
The lower-than-expected hiring figures seemed to calm some of the inflation fears that have overhung markets for weeks, although the report also showed that average wages rose more than expected.
Bank stocks dropped in premarket trading as yields declined. JPMorgan Chase fell 1.4 percent and Wells Fargo lost 1.3 percent.
Tech gains, which stumbled last month when bond yields jumped, rose ahead of the opening bell. Microsoft gained 1 percent and PayPal added 1.5 percent.
Around 9 a.m. EDT, S&P 500 futures rose 0.4 percent to 4,209 but Dow futures fell less than 1 percent to 34,429. Futures for the Nasdaq jumped, thanks to the gains in tech stocks, and were up 1.2 to 13,762.
In Europe,, France’s CAC 40 was flat while Germany’s DAX added 1 percent.
China reported its trade with the United States and the rest of the world surged by double digits in April as consumer demand recovered, but growth appeared to be slowing. Trade data released this morning show global exports rose 32.3 percent over a year ago to $263.9 billion, in line with March but down from the explosive 60.6 percent rise in the first two months of 2021.
China’s trade gains look especially dramatic in comparison with a year ago, when global economies shut down to fight the coronavirus. The positive indicators are coming amid worries about renewed tensions between the U.S. and China over trade.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 recouped early losses to edge up nearly 0.1 percent and finish at 29,357.82. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.3 percent to 7,080.80, while South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.6 percent to 3,197.20. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gyrated much of the day ending nearly 0.1 percent lower at 28,610.65, while the Shanghai Composite dropped 0.7 percent to 3,418.87.
Japan has decided to extend its state of emergency to curb the spread of COVID-19 infections, which kicked in last month in some urban areas, with people asked to stay home and restaurants to close early. The emergency will continue through the end of the month, instead of ending May 11, officials said.
Worries are growing that Japan’s medical system is being stretched thin, straining its ability to roll out vaccinations and treat rising numbers of infections. About 2 percent of the 126 million people in Japan have been inoculated so far. Opposition is growing against the Tokyo Olympics, set to open in July, with doubts growing whether the government can make good on its promise to have the elderly vaccinated by then.
In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude fell 54 cents to $64.10 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, lost 50 cents to $67.59 a barrel.