S&P, Dow surge to record highs after strong jobs report

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U.S. equity markets hit record highs Monday after the March jobs report blew past expectations.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 384 points, or 1.16%, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 1.46% and 1.68%, respectively. The early advance has both the Dow and the S&P 500 trading in record territory.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 33510.29 +357.08 +1.08%
SP500 S&P 500 4074.25 +54.38 +1.35%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 13699.798121 +219.69 +1.63%

The U.S. economy added 916,000 jobs in March as the service sector continued to see growth amid the reopening of the economy, the Labor Department said Friday. Additionally, the unemployment rate fell to 6%, the lowest since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Markets were closed on Friday in observance of Good Friday.

Looking at stocks, Alphabet Inc.’s Google unit scored a major victory over Oracle Corp. in a copyright dispute after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a lower court’s ruling, finding that the former’s use of the latter’s software code in its Android operating system constituted fair use. The ruling means Google will not have to pay potentially as much as $30 billion in damages, Reuters reported, citing two people with knowledge of the situation.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
GOOGL ALPHABET, INC. 2,214.46 +84.68 +3.98%
ORCL ORACLE CORP. 74.38 +2.61 +3.64%

In other news, Tesla Inc. delivered 184,400 vehicles in the first quarter, exceeding the 177,822 vehicles that analysts surveyed by Refinitiv were anticipating. The results caused Wedbush analyst Dan Ives to boost his rating to outperform and to raise his price target to $1,000 per share.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
TSLA TESLA, INC. 703.40 +41.65 +6.29%
GME GAMESTOP 184.37 -6.22 -3.26%

Elsewhere, GameStop Corp. shares plunged after the company announced plans to sell up to 3.5 million shares in order to take advantage of its stock price’s 916% surge this year through last week. The video-game retailer, which also said total global sales rose 11% in the nine weeks through April 4, plans to use the proceeds to speed up the shift in its business model to e-commerce.

Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson will take over manufacturing at a plant owned by Emergent Biosolutions Inc. after a batch of J&J’s COVID-19 vaccine was ruined. Production of AstraZeneca plc’s vaccine will be moved elsewhere.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
JNJ JOHNSON & JOHNSON 162.82 -0.05 -0.03%
EBS EMERGENT BIOSOLUTIONS 78.82 -1.64 -2.03%
AZN ASTRAZENECA PLC 49.49 -0.04 -0.07%

In deals, Tribune Co. received a $680 million offer from Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss and Choice Hotels Chairman Stewart Bainum. The offer, which would pay $16.50 per share, exceeds the $635 million agreement that was reached with hedge fund Alden Global Capital.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
TPCO TRONC INC 18.30 +0.27 +1.50%
SRE SEMPRA ENERGY 134.11 +2.21 +1.68%
KKR KKR & CO. 50.97 +0.61 +1.21%

Energy infrastructure company Sempra Energy agreed to sell a 20% stake in its Sempra Infrastructure Partners unit to private equity firm KKR for $3.37 billion. The deal will help Sempra fund growth of U.S. utilities to further strengthen its balance sheet.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell $1.63 to $59.82 per barrel and gold ticked up 50 cents to $1,727 an ounce.

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Overseas markets were quiet.

European markets were shuttered for Easter Monday.

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.79% while China’s Shanghai Composite index and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index were both closed for holiday.