Barefoot Investor: GLOBAL MARKETS - Robust U.S. jobs data lifts shares, dollar

Global stocks rose and the dollar rallied broadly on Friday after a robust U.S. labor market report beat expectations and provided another sign the world's biggest economy is recovering.

Strong acceptance from private creditors for a Greek bond swap averted a messy default and added to a slightly bullish mood, but the losses forced on the debt holders also triggered the payment of insurance contracts.

A ruling by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association that a credit event had occurred cut into gains on Wall Street and pared losses in the bond market. The euro fell further, but the announcement was widely expected and the single currency snapped back to recoup rebounded a tad.

U.S. employment grew solidly for a third straight month in February as employers added 227,000 jobs to their payrolls, the Labor Department, even though the unemployment rate held at a three-year low of 8.3 percent.

The data offered encouragement for those who see the U.S. economy moving into a more sustainable stage of recovery that could lead the Federal Reserve to drop its easy money stance earlier that the market now perceives.

The dollar hits its highest level against the yen in nearly 11 months and rallied broadly against other currencies, while safe-haven government debt prices fell. Gold reserved early sharp losses to rise nearly 1 percent in heavy trading.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 14.08 points, or 0.11 percent, at 12,922.02. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index added 4.96 points, or 0.36 percent, at 1,370.87. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 17.92 points, or 0.60 percent, at 2,988.34.

For the week, the Dow fell 0.4 percent, the S&P 500 rose 0.1 percent and Nasdaq gained 0.4 percent.

Three years ago on Friday marked the depth of market lows brought on by the financial crisis. The S&P 500 now is trading at levels last seen in June 2008, before Lehman's collapse later that fall spent markets into a downward spiral. It is still 200 points below its all-time high set in October 2007.

European shares rose, supported by the U.S. labor market report. Data from the United States and emerging markets has become a key driver for European companies, which face lackluster domestic growth, as underscored by Friday's weaker-than-expected industrial output from France, Italy and Britain.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 index of top regional shares closed up 0.4 percent at 1,079.37 points.

The U.S. data lifted the dollar broadly to multi-month highs against other currencies and initially pushed commodity prices lower. Crude oil futures later rebounded, as the data countered dollar pressure and fading euphoria over Greece's debt swap. (Reuters)

2 comments

frank howard said... @ March 14, 2012 at 3:53 PM

NEW YORK, March 9 (Reuters) - Global stocks rose and the dollar rallied broadly on Friday after a robust U.S. labor market report beat expectations and provided another sign the world's biggest economy is recovering.structured settlement cash

www.greenworldbvi.com said... @ May 4, 2012 at 8:41 AM

I think the US and European economies are going in different directions.
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