NEW YORK, New York – Strong economic data failed to stem profit-taking on the major U.S. bourses on Friday, while the out-of-favor U.S. dollar rebounded sharply, while Treasury yields jumped.
The January jobs report revealed nonfarm payrolls rose by 517,000 in January, well ahead of the 187,000 expected.
The unemployment rate dropped to 3.40 percent, below the 3.60 percent forecast. Unemployment in the U.S. is now the lowest in more than fifty years (May 1969).
“It was a phenomenal report,” Michelle Meyer, chief U.S. economist at the Mastercard Economics Institute told CNBC Friday. “This brings into question how we’re able to see that level of job growth despite some of the other rumblings in the economy. The reality is it shows there’s still a lot of pent-up demand for workers where companies have really struggled to staff appropriately.”
Meyer was not alone in her jubilation.
“Today’s jobs report is almost too good to be true,” Julia Pollak, chief economist at ZipRecruiter said in a note Friday. “Like $20 bills on the sidewalk and free lunches, falling inflation paired with falling unemployment is the stuff of economics fiction.”
Despite the euphoria, the Nasdaq Composite sank 193.86 points or 1.59 percent to 12,006.96.
The Standard and Poor’s 500 dropped 43.28 points or 1.04 percent to 4,136.48.
The Dow Jones industrials gave up 127.93 points or 0.38 percent to 33,926.01.
The U.S. dollar had a stellar day Friday basking in the light of the jobs report. The euro slumped to 1.0793. The British pound sank to 1.2050. The Japanese yen fell to 131.14. The Swiss franc was sharply lower at 0.9262.
The Canadian dollar weakened to 1.3401. The high-flying Australian dollar’s bubble burst, with the Aussie diving to 0.6922 by the U.S. close Friday. The New Zealand dollar dropped a full one-and-ap-half cents to 0.6324.
On overseas equity markets, the CAC 40 in Paris, France advanced 0.94 percent. The German Dax was off 0.21 percent. In London, the FTSE 100 gained 1.04 percent after hitting a record high.
China’s Shanghai Composite lost 068 percent. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong was down 1.36 percent. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.39 percent.
The Singapore Straits Times Index increased 0.61 percent Friday. The Australian All Ordinaries was ahead 0.56 percent. Across the Tasman, New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 gained 0.37 percent.
In Seoul, South Korea, the Kospi Composite rose 0.47 percent.
(Photo credit: David L. Nemec | NYSE).