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US stocks back in record range after solid jobs data

WT24 Desk

NEW YORK – US stocks returned to record territory Friday following a solid jobs report and a move by President Donald Trump to roll back banking regulations enacted after the 2008 financial crisis,AFP reports.

The Nasdaq finished at a fresh record, while the S&P 500 climbed to within a point of a new peak and the Dow vaulted back above 20,000 points.  Equity markets also rose in London, Paris and Frankfurt. Tokyo wasflat.

Trump ordered a review of key reforms enacted after the 2008 financial crisis, in the first step towards scaling back toughened regulations on the banking industry.  The moves could result in lower costs for compliance and clear away rules that restrict investments from proprietary accounts.

Shares of major banks, including JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs surged three percent or more, while the broader market also took heart from Trump’s focus on an economic issue after several contentious moves on immigration and trade.

“There was a whole a ton of really disappointing moves by the Trump administration and the market did not really sell off that much, and then you get just small pieces of positive news from them and the market goes up quite a bit,” said Karl Haeling, Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg.

– Dollar drops –

Markets were also buoyed by the January US jobs report, which included a better-than-expected 227,000 new jobs, keeping up the positive trends from the Obama years into the start of the term of President Donald Trump.

Analysts said the report, while solid, was not likely strong enough to alter the Federal Reserve’s plan to only increase interest rates gradually. The report showed only modest wage growth.

The dollar retreated against the euro and the pound.  “Weaker wage growth takes a March rate hike off the table for the time being especially in light of the Fed’s less hawkish views,” said BK Asset Management managing director Kathy Lien.

“The mixed jobs report and lack of unambiguous optimism hurt the dollar and could keep it under pressure in the new trading week.”  Macy’s gained 6.4 percent following reports it was in early talks towards a possible acquisition by Canada’s Hudson’s Bay. The news comes on the heels of announcements of job cuts and store closures by Macy’s, which has struggled to transition to the e-commerce era. Hudson’s Bay climbed 3.9 percent in Toronto.

Amazon dropped 3.5 percent after it reported fourth-quarter net income jumped 55.3 percent to $749 million. However, revenues during the key holiday season came in a billion dollars shy of expectations at $43.7 billion.

– Key figures around 2200 GMT –

New York – Dow: UP 0.9 percent at 20,071.46 (close)
New York – S&P 500: UP 0.7 percent at 2,297.42 (close)
New York – Nasdaq: UP 0.5 percent at 5,666.77 (close)
London – FTSE 100: UP 0.7 percent at 7,188.30 (close)
Frankfurt – DAX 30: UP 0.2 percent at 11,651.49 (close)
Paris – CAC 40: UP 0.7 percent at 4,825.42 (close)
EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.6 percent at 3,273.11
Tokyo – Nikkei 225: FLAT at 18,918.20 (close)
Hong Kong – Hang Seng: DOWN 0.2 percent at 23,129.21 (close)
Shanghai – Composite: DOWN 0.6 percent at 3,140.17 (close)
Euro/dollar: UP at $1.0782 from $1.0760
Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2482 from $1.2535
Dollar/yen: DOWN at 112.61 yen from 112.79 yen
Oil – West Texas Intermediate: UP 29 cents at $53.83 per barrel
Oil – Brent North Sea: UP 29 cents at $56.81 per barrel

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