The S&P 500 rose on Friday to hit a new high for the year after the November jobs report and University of Michigan consumer survey data pointed to a resilient economy and cool inflation, fueling hopes for a so-called soft landing scenario.
Friday, the S&P added 0.41% to settle at 4,604.37, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.45% to end at 14,403.97. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 130.49 points, or 0.36%, to end at 36,247.87.
The S&P 500 posted its highest close of the year last week, but had yet to surpass its 2023 intraday high in July until Friday, when it topped 4,609 in afternoon trading. The benchmark is now up about 20% over the year and is trading at its highest level until March 2022.
US stocks rose on Friday after the November jobs report and University of Michigan consumer survey data pointed to a resilient economy and subdued inflation, fueling the so-called soft landing narrative that the Federal Reserve and many investors had been hoping for.
The November nonfarm payrolls report showed an unexpected decline in the unemployment rate, with the 10-year Treasury yield up 10 basis points at 4.23%.
The unemployment rate fell to 3.7% in November from 3.9% the previous month. It was expected to remain as is. The economy added 199,000 jobs, slightly more than the Dow Jones estimate of 190,000 jobs, and much more than the 150,000 jobs added in October.
The data initially raised concerns that the economy was too hot for inflation to cool enough for the Fed to begin pulling back on its high interest rate policy. Some traders expect the Federal Reserve to start cutting interest rates as early as March.
On the other hand, the monthly jobs report could also support the idea that the Fed is steering the US economy toward a soft landing, which is a steady economic recovery amid low inflation. Average hourly wages, a leading indicator of inflation, rose about as expected in November, as the economy added more jobs than the previous month.
Meanwhile, a closely watched University of Michigan survey showed inflation expectations falling and consumer sentiment rising in December to the highest level since July. (agencies)
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