Wall Street started the month of Apr with gains on Fri. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 139.92 pts, or 0.4%, to close at 34,818.27. The broader S&P 500 index rose 0.34%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.29%. The small-cap Russell 2000 gained 1.01%.
Mega cap tech stocks were mostly higher including Meta Platforms (FB US, +1.12%), Alphabet (GOOGL US, +0.78%), Microsoft (MSFT US, +0.36%) and Amazon (AMZN US, +0.35%), though Apple (AAPL US, -0.17%) fell.
The 2-year and 10-year US Treasury yields inverted for the first time since 2019. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note notched up 4.42 basis points (bps) to 2.3822%, while the yield on the 2-year Treasury finished at 2.432%.
Expectations that US policymakers will hike interest rates 50 bps this month solidified on Fri, after the release of a robust US nonfarm payroll report. Expectations for a 50-basis point interest rate hike at the central bank's May meeting stand at 73.3%, according to CME's FedWatch Tool.
US nonfarm payrolls climbed 431,000 in Mar, which came in shy of expectations for 490,000. However, Feb’s figure was revised up to 750,000. The unemployment rate fell more than expected to 3.6% from 3.8%, while wage growth picked up 0.4% mom and 5.6% YoY.
US-listed Chinese stocks climbed after a Bloomberg News report that Beijing is preparing to give US regulators full access to auditing reports for a majority of the 200-plus companies listed in New York as soon as mid-this year. The Invesco Golden Dragon China ETF (PGJ US) rose 4.5%.
The most actively traded US gold futures (Jun) contracts settled down $30.30, or 1.6%, at US$1,923.70/oz. May silver, which is the most actively traded silver futures, fell 47.9 cents, or 1.9%, to end at US$24.654/oz.
The ICE dollar index (DXY), which measures the strength of the greenback against a basket of currencies, rose 0.33% to 98.632.
The front-month Brent and WTI futures closed down $3.52 at US$104.39/bbl and $1.01 at US$99.27/bbl respectively.
European equity markets finished higher last Fri. The UK FTSE gained 0.30%, France's CAC 40 rose 0.37%, while the German DAX advanced 0.22%.