Stock market bulls had their day in the sun Friday as the Nasdaq composite scored an all-time high, cheered by a strong jobs report and tame wage growth in February.
With about one hour remaining in the session, the Dow Jones industrial average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq showed gains of around 1.5%. The S&P 500 reclaimed its 50-day moving average. Volume on the NYSE and Nasdaq was tracking slightly higher than Thursday’s levels at the same time of day in the stock market today.
Nonfarm U.S. payrolls surged 313,000 in February, well above the Econoday consensus estimate of 205,000. Wages rose a tame 2.6%, also below expectations. Investors moved out of bonds and into stocks on the news, sending the 10-year Treasury yield higher by 3 basis points to 2.89%. According to the CME Group FedWatch tool, the market has pretty much baked in a quarter-point hike at the March 21 Fed meeting. That would lift the federal funds rate to a range of 1.50% to 1.75%.
Friday’s session yielded a healthy supply of breakouts, good to see alongside robust gains for the major stock indexes.
Rising bond yields helped the cause of financials, including a couple of online brokers. Charles Schwab (SCHW) added nearly 3% to 57.44, good enough for a breakout from a base with a 56.35 entry. E-Trade Financial (ETFC) showed similar action, rising 3% to 56.94. It cleared a base with a 56.10 entry.
Goldman Sachs (GS), meanwhile, is near the top of a flat base with a 273.89 entry. Shares rose 1% to 269.66. The stock was unfazed by a Wall Street Journal report that CEO Lloyd Blankfein could step down as soon as the end of this year.
Trucking stocks were among the day’s best performers as the group rose more than 3%. Small-cap Saia (SAIA) jumped above the 50-day moving average, rising 4% to 75.47. Its current consolidation shows an 80.35 entry.
Heavy-volume gainers included steel producer Tenaris (TS). While several other steel producers lagged Friday, Tenaris — which makes oil pipes and has some operations in the U.S. — bucked the trend, rising nearly 3% to 37.18. It cleared a long base with a 36.44 buy point.
President Trump on Thursday announced steel and aluminum tariffs, as expected, but excluded Mexico and Canada. He also left the door open for other countries to make their case as to why they should be excluded. Tenaris joined Leaderboard Friday.
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KMG Chemicals (KMG) gapped up past a consolidation that shows a 68.23 entry. Shares popped 9% to 69.07. A strong earnings report was the catalyst.
Upland Software (UPLD) was another big mover on earnings, soaring 11% to 30 after its earnings report. Shares jumped out of base exactly one week ago with a 25.10 buy point.
After falling 5.6% intraday, Brazil-based new issue PagSeguro Digital (PAGS) reversed higher, rising 1% to 35.22. The provider of payment services has been showing relative strength after a breakout from an IPO base with a 30.02 buy point. Late Thursday, the company reported its fifth straight quarter of triple-digit earnings and sales growth.