Stocks Start the Week on a High Following Blowout March Jobs Report

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Stocks are higher today, following Friday’s blowout March job reports, which was the strongest month since last summer, helped by an acceleration of the vaccine rollout and an easing of restrictions.

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The US added 916,000 jobs in March, boosted by the leisure and hospitality sector. This nascent economic recovery is also reflected in the decrease in the unemployment rate from 6.2% in February to 6% in March, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Economists had estimated 675,000 jobs to be added in March and the unemployment rate to decrease to 6% from 6.2%, according to The Wall Street Journal. This follows an addition of 379,000 jobs in February.

“These improvements in the labor market reflect the continued resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic,” the Labor Department said in a statement.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 267 points, or 0.8%, shortly after the opening bell. The S&P 500 added 0.7% and the Nasdaq Composite also climbed 0.7%, according to The Wall Street Journal.

“It was a blockbuster report on all fronts, exceeding expectations in a really big way,” Hani Redha, portfolio manager at PineBridge Investments, told the WSJ. “The market has already started to respond. The direction of stocks will be very positive.”

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    About the Author

    Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.

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