The last trading day of the week brought a big surprise to the markets, as the May jobs report showed an unexpected increase in payroll numbers and a decline in the unemployment rate.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics Friday reported a decline in the US unemployment rate to 13.3% in May, from 14.7% in the previous month. The figure came in significantly better than the consensus estimates of a decline to 19%, signaling that the economy is gearing up for a healthy rebound from the economic crisis.
The US also added 2.5 million jobs last month, while the job losses for April was also revised higher to 20.7 million. Economists had projected a loss of 7.25 million jobs for May.
The US government has pumped in trillions of dollars into the economy, to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus crisis. Those efforts are among the main reasons for a strong recovery in the stock market.
Performance of US Indices
US stocks closed the week on a higher note last week, backed by a strong jobs report with businesses continuing to reopen after the easing of coronavirus-related lockdowns.
After gaining 829 points on Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, rose 6.8% last week to settle at 27,110.98. The index had gained 3.8% in the prior week. The S&P 500 index added 81.58 points on Friday, closing the week higher by 4.9%. The Nasdaq Composite Index, which surged to a record intraday high of 9,842.49 on Friday, posted weekly gains of 2.8%.
Top US Stocks of the Week
Pfizer’s shares declined by 7% on Monday last week, after the pharma-company reported plans to discontinue its trial for treating breast cancer. The stock closed the week lower by around 6%.
Shares of Coty climbed around 21% on Monday last week, following the company’s announcement to sell a majority stake in its beauty and retail haircare businesses. The stock jumped close to 40% during the week.
Shares of Zoom Video Communications climbed 7% on Wednesday, after the videoconferencing company posted strong quarterly results. Zoom’s stock gained more than 15% last week.
Campbell Soup’s shares slipped 6% on Wednesday, despite the company posting better-than-expected quarterly results and raising its full-year outlook. The Camden, New Jersey-company’s shares lost over 5% last week.
American Airlines Group’s shares climbed more than 41% on Thursday, after the airline company announced plans to increase its US flight schedule in the upcoming month. The stock surged a whopping 77% last week.
On Friday, shares of Slack Technologies nosedived 14%, even as the company reported upbeat Q1 results. The sell-off was triggered by management withdrawing the forecast for annual billings. The company also announced a strategic partnership with Amazon. Slack’s stock lost over 7% last week.
Performance of European Indices
Last week, European stocks posted their strongest gains in around two months as investor sentiment was lifted by a strong US jobs report amid rising optimism of a healthy rebound in the global economy. The European Central Bank also surprised markets last week by raising the size of its pandemic emergency purchase program by €600 billion.
The STOXX Europe 600 index jumped 2.5% on Friday, rising for four days last week. The index gained more than 7% for the week. The German DAX 30 index, which gained 3.4% on Friday, posted a weekly rise of more than 10%. After climbing 3.7% on Friday, the French CAC 40 index, recorded gains of more than 10% for the week.
Top European Stocks of the Week
Shares of Ted Baker dropped 10% on Monday last week, as the London-based company disclosed a loss of £79.9 million for the full year and plans to raise £95 million from the markets.
On Tuesday, Hammerson’s shares rose 35% after the British company said it will reopen its sites starting June 15.
Remy Cointreau’s stock rose 10% on Thursday after the French company projected a strong rebound in the back half of the year.
Shares of Lookers gained 15% on Thursday after the UK-based company announced plans to cut around 1,500 jobs.
The Forex Market
The Canadian dollar climbed to a three-month high versus the greenback on Friday, gaining more than 2% for the week after Canada’s jobs report showed an unexpected rebound in the labor market. The Canadian economy added 290,000 jobs in May, up 1.8% from the previous month.
The Australian dollar rose around 0.9% to 70.04 on Friday, recording its highest against the greenback since January. The Aussie posted gains of 27% after dropping to an 18-year low in March. Data released on Wednesday showed that the country’s economy shrank during the first three months of the year.
The Crypto Market
Bitcoin has been trading close to the $10,000 mark for about a month. The digital currency, which has surged more than 30% year to date, is widely expected to return to its 2017 high of $20,000 by yearend.
Bitcoin was unable to rise above $9,800 last week and is currently correcting downwards towards the $9,600 level.