Wall Street stocks traded higher early on Friday as traders thumbed over May’s key jobs report from the Labor Department boosted confidence in America’s economic comeback.
As of 1530 BST, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.30% at 34,679.51, while the S&P 500 was 0.58% firmer at 4,217.30 and the Nasdaq Composite came out the gate 1.12% stronger at 13,767.47.
The Dow opened 102.47 points higher on Friday, erasing losses recorded on Friday as market participants digested this week’s all-important jobless claims report, which showed the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits in the week ended 29 May had dropped below 400,000 for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic started over twelve months ago.
Friday’s main focus will be May’s nonfarm payrolls report, which revealed hiring in the US bounced back by a bit less than expected last month, led by a jump in leisure and hospitality as the economy continued to reopen. According to the Department of Labor, nonfarm payrolls grew by 559,000 in May, undershooting economists’ projections for a gain of 663,000. However, payrolls figures for the preceding two months were revised higher by a combined 27,000.
Also in focus, the White House rowed back on its push to reverse the 2017 tax cuts approved by Donald Trump in a bid to win the backing of the Republican party for President Joe Biden’s proposed $1.0trn infrastructure package. Under the new proposal, the corporate tax rate would no longer go from 21% back to 28%.
Instead, the government would now rely on strengthening tax enforcement on the highest earners and making sure that firms pay at least 15% of their profits in taxes. However, Biden was said to still be looking to raise corporate taxes to finance other proposals, including a $1.8trn plan for American families.
Elsewhere on the macro front, new orders for US-manufactured goods declined 0.6% to $485.2bn in April, according to the Census Bureau, a change of direction when compared to March’s increase of 1.4% that missed market expectations for a decrease of 0.2%.
In the corporate space, Facebook was up 0.80% in early trading despite being slapped with fresh antitrust investigations in the UK and EU, while AMC traded 3.39% lower following several days of big swings for the “meme stock”.
No major earnings were slated for release on Friday.