Stocks Climb After Tepid Jobs Report But Meme Stock Frenzy Cools

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Topline

Stocks rose Friday as traders evaluated a somewhat disappointing May jobs report, which suggested the Federal Reserve might be more hesitant to tighten ultra-easy monetary policy anytime soon, while Bitcoin and most other cryptocurrencies fell moderately.

Key Facts

On Friday, the S&P 500 gained 0.88%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.52% and Nasdaq climbed 1.47%.

For the week, the S&P 500 gained 0.61%, the Dow rose 0.66% and Nasdaq climbed 0.48%.

AMC Entertainment, the recent meme stock favorite of Reddit investors, finished a wildly volatile week by falling 6.6% on Friday, but rose 83.4% for the week and surged 2159% year to date.

Shares of electronic signature company DocuSign surged 19.76% after posting a narrower fiscal-first-quarter loss on 58% higher revenue.

Biopharma firm Biogen jumped 4.99% on Friday, ahead of a decision expected Monday on its Alzheimer’s drug aducanumab from the Food and Drug Administration.

The Labor Department said on Friday that the U.S. economy added 559,000 jobs in May, below expectations but more than double the figure for the prior month, while the unemployment rate fell from 6.1% in April to 5.8%.

Tangent

Bitcoin fell 4.55% as of Friday 4 p.m. over the past 24 hours, one day after Elon Musk posted a tweet suggesting he was “breaking up” with the world’s biggest cryptocurrency. Bitcoin is still up 27.3% year to date and has a market cap of almost $696 million.

Key Background

Thomas Simons, economist at Jeffries wrote in a note that May payroll data came in “slightly weaker” than consensus expectations of 675,000. “In the context of last month’s miss, the numbers today are not bad, but they are still pretty modest relative to how strong other indicators of economic growth have been,” he wrote. “The data is consistent with other indicators of a labor shortage that was already previously well understood and that should abate somewhat as the enhanced unemployment benefits programs continue to expire throughout the summer.” Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate, said in note that because the payrolls gain was “somewhat restrained,” the Federal Reserve should feel a “bit less urgency” about boosting interest rates. Meanwhile, the ongoing volatility among meme stocks like AMC has some analysts concerned. Matt Maley, chief market strategist at Miller Tabak, told CNBC on Friday  “some of these stocks that are trading far beyond any of their fundamentals, I think it’s going to be really rough,” adding that what’s going on right now “is simply just not healthy.” David Trainer, CEO of New Constructs, an investment research firm, stated earlier in the week there is “no fundamental reason” to be buying shares of AMC as it’s trading at levels that “entirely disconnected” from fundamentals, given its “weak earnings” and “mountain of debt.”

Big Number

385,000. That’s how many people the Labor Department said filed for unemployment insurance in the week ended May 29, down 20,000 from the prior week, marking a pandemic low.

Contra

On Friday, shares of Facebook rose 1.3% after it banned former President Donald Trump from the social media platform for at least two years.

What To Watch For

Mike Fratantoni, chief economist at Mortgage Bankers Association, said in a note on Friday that the decrease in initial claims for unemployment insurance in recent weeks, the continued “robust demand” for workers as shown by the high level of job openings, point to “more hiring” over the summer. He expects the unemployment rate to fall to 4.5% by year-end.

Further Reading

Why The Nasdaq Stock Market Is A Focal Point Now (Forbes)

Here’s Why Experts Think The Stock Market Could Rip Higher As Stocks Test New Highs (Forbes)

May 2021 Stock Market Outlook (Forbes)

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