- REUTERS/Joshua Lott
Stocks were little changed in trading on Friday after the headline jobs number came in below expectations for the month of March.
While the jobs report was weak in terms of headline jobs growth, the unemployment rate did tick down and some of the underlying numbers in the report were solid.
All three major stock indexes ended in the red after the report, but not by much.
We’ve got all the headlines, but first, the scoreboard:
Dow: 20,656.10, -6.85, (-0.03%) S&P 500: 2,355.54, -1.95, (-0.08%) Nasdaq: 5,877.81, -1.14, (-0.02%) 10-year Treasury: 2.373%, +3 basis points
The US economy added 98,000 jobs in March. The report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed job growth decelerated in March. The headline number was below the 180,000 expected by economists. The unemployment rate did, however, tick down to 4.5%. Wage growth hit expectations. Average hourly earnings decreased slightly to 2.7% year-over-year, in line with economists’ expectations. The labor force participation rate stayed steady. The measure of the total number of non-institutionalized civilian Americans in the workforce remained steady from February at 63.0%. The jobs report was devastating for the retail industry. The report showed a decrease in retail employment of nearly 30,000 for the second straight month. It was the worst two month drop for retail employment since 2009 during the recession. The Canadian jobs report also beat. The Canadian economy added 19,400 jobs in March, well above the 5,700 expected by economists. The unemployment rate also ticked up to 6.7% as expected. Okta popped after its initial public offering. The security software company debuted at $23.56, well above its initial price range of $15 to $17 a share. The move in the stock also increased the company’s valuation to over $2 billion. Defense stocks increased after the US strike against Syria. Raytheon, the maker of the Tomahawk missile used in the strike on Thursday, popped at the open more than 2% and ended the day up by 1.5%. The Baker Hughes rig count rose for the 12th straight week. Oil rigs increased by 10 to 672, the highest level since August 28, 2015. Gas rigs also jumped by five to 165.