The US economy added 275,000 jobs last month, more than expected

9:59 a.m. ET, March 8, 2024

US markets are higher after jobs report



Traders work at the New York Stock Exchange on January 31.

Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images/File

US stocks were higher after key jobs data came in stronger than expected.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 48 points, or 0.1%. The S&P 500 was 0.3% higher, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite was up 0.4%.

Treasury yields fell slightly but remained relatively steady.

New data out Friday showed the US economy added 275,000 jobs in February, surpassing economists’ estimates for 200,000.

Strong economic reports are poorly received on Wall Street as they mean the Federal Reserve may need to keep interest rates higher for longer to slow the economy and cool inflation. But markets appear to taking a “good news is good news” approach to Friday’s report.

That’s because while payrolls came in hot, there was also a sharp downward revision to January’s numbers and wage growth tempered.

“The report didn’t necessarily amount to an ‘all-clear’ signal for the Fed, but there also didn’t appear to be anything in it that would derail its plan to cut rates in the second half of the year,” said Chris Larkin, managing director of trading and investing at E*Trade.

Financial markets currently see about a 78% chance the Fed will lower interest rates in June, according to the CME FedWatch Tool.

President Joe Biden, meanwhile, suggested an increase in taxes on ultra-wealthy Americans during his State of the Union speech Thursday night. But so far, investors don’t seem to be reacting to the proposal.

Shares of Costco opened 5.4% lower on Friday morning after the mega-retailer beat earnings expectations but missed on sales for the final quarter of last year.

DocuSign soared 5.4% after the company beat earnings expectations and lifted its forward guidance for the year ahead.

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