Wall Street Opens Mostly Higher as Job Shock Banishes Tapering Fears; Dow Flat

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Investing.com — U.S. stock markets opened mostly higher on Friday thanks to the “bad news is good news principle”, as a shock shortfall in job creating reassured market participants that the Federal Reserve will not withdraw any monetary stimulus for the foreseeable future. 

By 9:40 AM ET (1340 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was effectively unchanged on 34,552 points, underperforming as the government’s labor market report suggested that only a slow pickup in employment despite the broad reopening of the economy. The S&P 500 was up 0.4%, and the Nasdaq Composite, many of whose components are highly sensitive to expectations of future interest rates, was up 0.8%.

Earlier, the Bureau of Labor Statistics had said that the U.S. economy created only 266,000 nonfarm jobs in the month through mid-April, well short of the 978,000 expected and also well short of the 742,000 gain in private payrolls reported earlier this week by ADP. To make matters worse, the government also revised down its March number by nearly 150,000 to 770,000. The one bright spot was a sign of people re-entering the workforce as the service sector started to reopen after a winter spent locked down. The labor participation rate rose to 61.7% of the working-age population, from 61.5% in March.

Among individual stocks, Roku  (NASDAQ:ROKU) was an early and sharp gainer,. after the maker of streaming devices posted strong quarterly results on Thursday evening. After losing 40% from its peak in February, the stock rebounded by 15% after the company said advertising revenue grew 79% in the first quarter, giving the company its strongest overall revenue growth since it went public.