The US stocks ended higher Friday, as Nasdaq and S&P 500 closed higher and they saw their highest closing levels since the early month of 2022 post the strong US jobs report. This report resulted in investor optimism regarding the soft landing for the overall US economy. Investors decided to pare bets that the US Fed will reduce the interest rates in the month of March post the report by Labor Department. This report exhibited that non-farm payrolls saw an increase of 199,000 jobs for the month of November as compared to estimated increase of 180,000. Unemployment rate declined to 3.7%, with average earnings rising to 0.4% on monthly basis as compared to the forecasts of 0.3% growth.
Interest rate futures exhibit that traders and experts believe that the US Fed will hold interest rates steady when the committee meets next week, as per CME FedWatch tool. Futures prices now exhibit that traders expect the US Fed to start cutting rates in May. Given the Friday’s close, S&P 500’s close was highest since the month of March 2022, and Nasdaq’s close was highest since the month of April 2022. The Dow Jones inched up by 0.01% for the week, making its 6th straight weekly gain. This was the index’s longest run of positive weeks since the month of February 2019.
Elsewhere, the updated data released on Friday exhibited that Japan’s economy declined by ~2.9% year-on-year for July-September quarter, worse than the expectations of the analysts. In Tokyo, Nikkei 225 index declined by 1.68% to close the session at 32,307.86 because investors speculated that Bank of Japan might end negative interest-rate policy.
BOJ Governor Kazuo Ueda informed the parliament that central bank will see “even more challenging” situation by the end of 2023 and early 2024. USD declined to 143.79 Japanese yen from 144.12 yen on Friday.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index saw an increase of 0.3% to 16,394.90 and Shanghai Composite index wen up by ~0.4% at 2,977.83. The Kospi in Seoul grew by ~1% to 2,519.07. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 inched up by ~0.2% to 7190.70.
While Nasdaq and S&P 500 closed higher, there were movements in certain stocks. Big technology stocks supported the US market in seeing gains Friday as there was a rise of ~5.3% Google’s parent company, Alphabet. Cerevel Therapeutics climbed 11.4% post AbbVie’s announcement about $8.7 billion deal to purchase the company and its pipeline of candidates for schizophrenia, Parkinson’s and several other diseases. AbbVie went up by ~1.1%.