Stocks rose on Friday, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq reaching fresh closing highs, after new disappointing economic data signalled that more fiscal stimulus may be coming in the near term. All three market benchmarks posted their best weekly gains since October, with the Dow rising 3.89%, the S&P gaining 4.67% and the Nasdaq outperforming with an increase of over 6%.
The U.S. economy added back more jobs than it lost in January, but those additions fell far below consensus expectations on Friday. Non-farm payrolls grew by 49,000 in January, according to the Labor Department, totalling fewer than half the 105,000 expected. Additionally, Demember's job losses were revised to be greater than previously reported, with the economy losing 277,000 jobs versus the 140,000 reported. The unemployment rate improved to 6.3% from 6.7% for the month, but that decrease came from a drop in the labor force participation rate.
Here's how the market settled to close out the week:
S&P 500 Index (SPY ): +0.39% or +15.06 points to 3,886.80
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA ): +0.3% or +92.25 points to 31,148.11
Nasdaq Composite Index (QQQ ): +0.57% or +78.55 points to 13,856.30
For Stocks, GameStop (GME ) shares surged 50% intraday on Friday after Robinhood, the online trading platform that has become popular for retail investors, lifted its limited time trading restrictions on the stock. Trading of the video game retailer was briefly halted earlier in the session due to the volatility, with the stock finishing the day up about 20% at $63.77. The stock still remains below its all-time high of $483.00 achieved on Jan. 28 amid the retail trading frenzy.
For Sector Performance, most sectors on the S&P 500 benefitted from the broader market's gains on Friday, with Information Technology (XLK ) being the decliner. Materials (XLB ) reversed yesterday's losses, rising over 1% higher, while Communication Services (XLC ), Energy (XLE ), Consumer Discretionary (XLY ) and Consumer Staples (XLP ) also lead gains.
For Commodities and Currency, the U.S. Dollar (UUP ) declined on Friday following the weaker-than-expected U.S. jobs report, which muddied positive outlooks towards the nation's economic recovery. The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against other global currencies, slipped 0.5% at 91.028, but still rose to a weekly gains of 0.6%. Gold (GLD ) prices rebounded on the falling dollar on Friday, soaring above the $1,800 level as traders bet on more near-term economic stimulus from Washington. Spot gold increased 1% to $1,810.26 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures settled 1.2% higher at $1,813.00 per ounce. Silver (SLV ) made some gains on Friday, increasing 2.2% to $26.87 per ounce, but was still down 0.4% for the week. Crude oil futures rose to their highest levels in a year on Friday, as outlooks remained positive as OPEC+ maintained supply curbs. International benchmark Brent Crude (BNO ) rose 0.85% higher at $59.34 per barrel, while domestic index West Texas Intermediate (USO ) settled 1.1% higher at $56.85 each.
For the week ahead, market participants will look towards the developing stimulus talks in Washington. Several S&P 500 components are also scheduled to report quarterly earnings, including Coca-Cola (KO ), Pepsico (PEP ), Cisco (CSCO ) and Disney (DIS ).