US Stocks Climb on Strong June Jobs Report; Miners Rise

NEW YORK (AP) -
(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Stocks are rising Friday afternoon following a U.S. jobs report that was much stronger than expected. That was a relief for the market after a weak report for May made some investors worry the U.S. economy is slowing down. Still, investors remained cautious and continued to buy long-term bonds, keeping yields at some of their lowest levels ever.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 211 points, or 1.2 percent, to 18,107 as of 1:00 p.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 27 points, or 1.3 percent, to 2,124. The Nasdaq composite advanced 69 points, or 1.4 percent, to 4,945.

U.S. JOBS RELIEF: Employers added 287,000 jobs in June, according to a Labor Department report. The unemployment rate rose slightly as more people looked for work, and there was evidence that wages were rising faster. That suggests that the economy is recovering from a slump over the last few months. April’s somewhat-disappointing hiring number was revised higher, while May’s weak figures were cut even further. The April and May reports worried investors in part because they came after the economy grew just 1.1 percent in the first three months of 2016. The U.S. economy has been growing for more than six years, and investors are wary that that streak could end.

GAP GAINS: Retailer Gap climbed after it said sales at older stores grew in June as Old Navy results improved. Sales at those stores are considered an important measure of retailers’ results, and Thomson Reuters said it was the first improvement in that gauge for Gap in more than a year. Analysts expected another decline this month.

Gap stock rose $1.09, or 5 percent, to $22.72. The stock is down 8 percent this year.

POLYCOM GOES PRIVATE: Videoconferencing-equipment maker Polycom said it will be taken private by Siris Capital. It accepted an offer from Siris worth $12.50 per share, or $1.7 billion. Polycom accepted an offer from Mitel Networks in April. Polycom stock gained $1.41, or 12.9 percent, to $12.28. Mitel, which will get a $60 million payment from Polycom, climbed $1.07, or 17.8 percent, to $7.09.

CAUTIOUS: Stocks are trading at their highest prices in just under a year, but investors remained cautious. They continued to buy bonds, sending prices up and the yields on long-term notes lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.37 percent from 1.39 percent. The yield on the 30-year Treasury bond dipped to 2.11 percent from 2.14 percent. Both have set all-time lows in recent days.

The price of gold continued to inch lower, while silver prices rose.

JUNO STUDY: Drug developer Juno Therapeutics said it halted a mid-stage study on a potential leukemia treatment following the deaths of two patients. The study involved the company’s most advanced experimental drug, and Juno said the deaths of the patients came after an additional chemotherapy drug was added to their treatment. The stock sank $12.83, or 31.4 percent, to $27.99.

HEAVY METAL: Material and machinery companies made the largest gains. Paint and coatings maker PPG added $3.34, or 3.2 percent, to $106.37, and industrial gas maker Air Products and Chemicals rose $4.11, or 2.9 percent, to $143.78. Aluminum producer Alcoa picked up 40 cents, or 4.3 percent, to $9.74. Machinery maker Caterpillar climbed $2.12, or 2.8 percent, to $77.17, and aerospace company Boeing gained $3.02, or 2.4 percent, to $130.19.

IN THE BANK: Bank stocks also climbed. If reports show the economy is on surer footing, the Federal Reserve is more likely to raise interest rates later this year, and that would help banks make bigger profits on mortgages and other lending. Banks are the only S&P 500 industrial sector in the market that’s still lower for the year. JPMorgan Chase picked up $1.28, or 2.1 percent, to $61.86, and Synchrony Financial added $1.35, or 5.2 percent, to $27.37.

BARRACUDA GOES SWIMMING: Cloud-based security and storage service company Barracuda Networks reported solid quarterly results and raised its projections for the year. Its stock jumped $2.58, or 16.6 percent, to $18.09.

OIL: Energy prices were slightly higher. Benchmark U.S. crude added 21 cents to $45.35 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, a standard for international oil prices, picked up 26 cents to 46.66 a barrel in London.

LAGGARDS: Utility and phone companies and household goods makers didn’t move as much as other stocks, but they still traded a bit higher. Those stocks, considered some of the safest investments available, have outperformed the market this year as investors looked for protection.

OVERSEAS: Germany’s DAX jumped 2.2 percent and the CAC-40 in France was 1.7 percent higher. In Britain, the FTSE 100 added 0.9 percent. Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed 1.1 percent down. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index shed 0.7 percent and South Korea’s KOSPI lost 0.6 percent.

CURRENCIES: The dollar dipped to 100.54 yen from 100.76 yen Thursday. The euro declined to $1.1051 from $1.1055.