Stocks are off to a strong start on Wall Street Monday, putting the S&P 500 on track to beat the record high it set last week. The index was up 0.9%. The gains came after the government reported last week that employers went on a hiring spree in March, adding 916,000 jobs, the most since August. It was an encouraging sign that the economy is staging a strong recovery as vaccinations accelerate, stimulus checks go out and businesses reopen. Tesla rose after reporting that it doubled its vehicle deliveries in the first quarter, and GameStop fell after announcing a stock sale.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.
BEIJING – Asian stock markets were mixed and U.S. futures were higher Monday after Wall Street rose to a record on optimism the spread of coronavirus vaccines might allow global business to return to normal.
Tokyo and Seoul rose while India and Thailand retreated. Markets in Europe, Greater China and Australia were closed for holidays.
“Asia is treading cautiously” despite strong U.S. jobs data and Wall Street's gain, said Jeffrey Halley of Oanda in a report.
On Wall Street, the future for the benchmark S&P 500 index was up 0.5% and that for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.3% higher.
On Thursday, the S&P 500 rose 1.2% on its last trading day before the holiday, closing above 4,000 points for the first time.
In Asia on Monday, the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo rose 0.8% to 30,092.74 while the Kospi in Seoul gained 0.2% to 3,119.51.
India’s Sensex lost 2.5% to 48,759.17. Singapore advanced while Bangkok and Jakarta declined.
Investors have been encouraged by the spread of coronavirus vaccines despite rising infection numbers in the United States, Europe and other places that have prompted some governments to reimpose travel and business curbs.
Friday's closely watched U.S. government jobs report showed American employers added 916,000 more jobs than they cut last month. That was well ahead of forecasts of 617,500 and nearly double February's growth.
Also Friday, the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury bond, or the difference between the market price and the payout at maturity, rose to 1.72% from Thursday’s 1.68%.
The yield has risen sharply this year, drawing money out of stocks, on expectations revived economic activity will cause inflation to rise, reducing the value of the payout in real terms.
In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude lost 86 cents to $60.59 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $2.29 on Thursday to $61.45. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 93 cents to $63.93 per barrel in London. It gained $2.12 the previous session to $64.86 a barrel.
The dollar advanced to 110.67 yen from Friday's 110.63 yen. The euro retreated to $1.1745 from $1.1773.