Wall Street capped a week of huge gains with a sizable advance Friday after investors set aside some anxiety over news that the economy...
NEW YORK — Wall Street capped a week of huge gains with a sizable advance Friday after investors set aside some anxiety over news that the economy lost jobs last month and focused on a possible rescue plan for the troubled bond-insurance sector.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 92.83 to 12,743.19 after climbing more than 200 points Thursday.
Microsoft, one of the 30 Dow stocks, fell $2.15 to close at $30.45 a share after making an unsolicited $44.6 billion bid for Internet giant Yahoo. Boeing, also a Dow stock, fell 42 cents to $82.76.
Yahoo surged $9.20, or 48 percent, to $28.38, on word of the buyout, which it said it would consider. Rival Google fell $48.40, or 8.6 percent, to $515.90 after reporting its fourth-quarter earnings and revenue growth slowed at a faster pace than Wall Street expected.
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Broader stock indicators also rose. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 16.87 to 1,395.42, and the Nasdaq composite index advanced 23.50 to 2,413.36.
The Labor Department’s worrisome employment report for January didn’t bother investors. The economy lost 17,000 jobs, marking the first contraction of the labor market in more than four years. The news confounded economists, who were expecting 70,000 new jobs, according to Thomson/IFR. The unemployment rate fell to 4.9 percent from 5 percent in December, though the move came as the labor pool shrank.
Rating agency Moody’s Investors Service warned on a conference call Friday that it expects to downgrade some bond insurers this month. A top rating is crucial for bond insurers to draw new business.
“We’re starting to see the long-term investors and the fund mangers come back into the market. That’s why I think you’re seeing stocks rally even when there is negative news,” said Marc Pado, U.S. market strategist for Cantor Fitzgerald.
Stocks climbed Friday after a week in which Wall Street saw huge gains but also enormous volatility. The week began with a sharp advance as investors awaited the Federal Reserve’s decision on interest rates.
Stocks extended their gains Tuesday, and on Wednesday the central bank delivered on a widely expected half-point cut in interest rates. But unease about bond insurers short-circuited a rally in stocks after the rate cut.