Wall Street Opens Mostly Higher as Job Shock Banishes Tapering Fears; Dow Flat

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By Geoffrey Smitth 

Investing.com — U.S. stock markets opened mostly higher on Friday thanks to the “bad news is good news principle”, as a shock shortfall in job creating reassured market participants that the Federal Reserve will not withdraw any monetary stimulus for the foreseeable future. 

By 9:40 AM ET (1340 GMT), the was effectively unchanged on 34,552 points, underperforming as the government’s labor market report suggested that only a slow pickup in employment despite the broad reopening of the economy. The was up 0.4%, and the , many of whose components are highly sensitive to expectations of future interest rates, was up 0.8%.

Earlier, the Bureau of Labor Statistics had said that the U.S. economy created only 266,000 in the month through mid-April, well short of the 978,000 expected and also well short of the 742,000 gain in private payrolls reported earlier this week by . To make matters worse, the government also revised down its March number by nearly 150,000 to 770,000. The one bright spot was a sign of people re-entering the workforce as the service sector started to reopen after a winter spent locked down. The labor participation rate rose to 61.7% of the working-age population, from 61.5% in March.

Among individual stocks, Roku  (NASDAQ:) was an early and sharp gainer,. after the maker of streaming devices posted strong quarterly results on Thursday evening. After losing 40% from its peak in February, the stock rebounded by 15% after the company said advertising revenue grew 79% in the first quarter, giving the company its strongest overall revenue growth since it went public.

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Peloton (NASDAQ:) stock rose 4.6% after the maker of high-end exercise bikes said the recall of its treadmills due to safety concerns would cost it only $165 million. The stock has been hammered this week by the recall news, which came after the company initially refused to acknowledge a problem with the equipment.

Elsewhere, Square (NYSE:) stock rose 7.6% after disclosing a sharp rise in the proportion of its revenues tied to processing Bitcoin-related payments. The news attracted inflows from people seeking an equity market proxy for the growing interest in crypto assets. Coinbase Global (NASDAQ:), the digital asset exchange group seen by some as the closest proxy for that trend,. bounced 2.0% after finding support just above the reference price at which it went public last month.

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