Dow, S&P 500, Nasdaq end at records after solid US jobs data, Companies & Markets News & Top Stories

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NEW YORK (AFP) – US stocks finished the week with a flourish on Friday (July 2), with all three major indices posting records after a solid jobs report that was not seen as accelerating a monetary policy shift.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.4 per cent to close at 34,786.35 for its first all-time high since early May.

The broad-based S&P 500 jumped 0.8 per cent to end at 4,352.34, its seventh straight record, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.8 per cent to 14,639.33.

Wall Street was in positive territory the whole day after the Labour Department reported the US economy added a higher than expected 850,000 jobs in June.

Analysts however said the much-anticipated monthly data was not uniformly outstanding, noting that unemployment ticked up to 5.9 per cent.

The market viewed the data as a “Goldilocks”-type outcome in reference to the fairy tale character, who famously preferred her porridge at the right temperature, not too hot or too cold.

Briefing.com analyst Patrick O’Hare characterised the data as “okay.” The report “tabled any kind of concern that the report would stir the Fed to action faster than expected,” he told AFP in an interview.

Most large tech firms enjoyed another banner session, with Apple and Microsoft piling on 2 per cent or more, along with Amazon, where founder Jeff Bezos is set to step down as CEO next week, but maintain a leadership position as chairman.

Virgin Galactic was another winner, gaining 4.1 per cent as it announced that founder Sir Richard Branson was set to join a space flight on July 11. The timeframe means Branson is scheduled to make the landmark voyage ahead of Bezos’ trip, which is due for launch on July 20.

IBM shares fell 4.6, weighing on the Dow, as it announced that Jim Whitehurst would step down as president of the tech giant following the integration of Red Hat, which Whitehurst had led prior to its acquisition by IBM.

Lordstown Motors tumbled 10.8 per cent following a Wall Street Journal report that the troubled electric car company is under investigation by the US Justice Department.

Didi Global fell 5.3 per cent after China’s cyber watchdog said it is investigating homegrown ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing over “cybersecurity” concerns, a day after it raised US$4.4 billion (S$6 billion) in an IPO.