US open: Small gains on the Street following non-farm payrolls miss

US open: Small gains on the Street following non-farm payrolls miss

Wall Street trading opened with small gains on Friday as investors ran over the latest non-farm payrolls report.

At 1510 BST, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 were up 0.12% and 0.08%, respectively, while the Nasdaq was up 0.31%.

The main focus of the day has been the payrolls report, which revealed weaker than expected job growth throughout April, despite the unemployment rate falling to its lowest level in more than seventeen years.

The Labour Department said non-farm payroll employment increased by 164,000 in the month after it rose by an upwardly revised 135,000 jobs in March.

Economists had predicted that employment would increase by 192,000 following an initially estimated gain of 103,000 jobs during the previous month.

James Ingram, investment manager at MB Capital, said the results were “another miss”, but noted that with the upward revision to March’s “anaemic figure”, the impact on the US economy had “effectively netted itself out”.

“But of far greater concern is the underlying cause for the slowing rate in job creation – the US labour market is now stretched tight as a drum,” Ingram said. “With the unemployment rate at its lowest level since the millennium and the participation rate sliding, policymakers face an awkward conundrum — where are future jobs and growth going to come from?”

Investors were also be keeping an eye on trade talks between the US and China.

On the corporate front, Newell Brands was 4.76% higher following the release of its first-quarter earnings, while Cardinal Health picked up 3.84% after its share plunged late on Thursday as the drug distributor cut its annual earnings forecast and posted a lower-than-expected quarterly profit.

Tech giant Apple was up 2.83% after CNBC said Berkshire Hathaway bought 75m shares in the company in the first quarter, while Go-Pro moved ahead 6.85% and Shake Shack soared 21.51% after both posted solid earnings late on Thursday.

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