Pedestrians pass the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021, in New York. Stocks are opening broadly higher on Wall Street as investors welcome news that hiring by U.S. employers picked up last month at the fastest pace since October. The S&P 500 added 0.5% in the early going Friday; March 5, however the benchmark index is still on track for its third weekly loss in a row. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)
Stocks were mixed in late morning trading Friday as investors balanced news that hiring by U.S. employers picked up last month at the fastest pace since October with another unsettling rise in bond yields.
The S&P 500 was little changed as of 10:50 a.m. Eastern after moving between modest gains and losses. The benchmark index is back in the red for the year and on track for its third consecutive weekly loss.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was also little changed at the technology-heavy Nasdaq was down 1.4%.
U.S. employers added a robust 379,000 jobs last month, a sign that the economy is strengthening as confirmed virus cases drop, consumers spend more and states and cities ease business restrictions.
The February gain marked a sharp pickup from the 166,000 jobs that were added in January and the loss of 306,000 in December. Yet it represents just a fraction of the roughly 9.6 million jobs that the economy needs to regain to return to pre-pandemic levels.
The bond market, which has been betting on stronger economic growth as well as the potential for higher inflation, pushed bond yields higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was trading at 1.60%, its highest level in more than a year. Only a week ago, markets reacted negatively to the 10-year note crossing the 1.50% mark.
Technology stocks continued their slow march downward as bond yields rise. Tech stocks tend to be more expensive than other stocks per dollar of earnings a company can generate, a concept known as the price-to-earnings ratio. Because tech stocks are pricier, they tend to fall when bond yields become more attractive.
Apple fell 1%, Amazon lost 1.7% and Tesla fell 8%.
Investors were disappointed with remarks by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Thursday. Powell said inflation will likely pick up in the coming months, though he cautioned that the increase would be temporary and would not be enough for the Fed to alter its low-interest rate policies.
Featured Article: What is basic economics?7 Stocks to Buy For the Gig Economy
Before the global pandemic, it was referred to as a side hustle—a way for some individuals to make a little extra money. However, as the pandemic has changed the nature of how we work, and as consumers how we spend, the gig economy has become an essential way of life for many workers.
There is much that’s not known about the long-term effects of the pandemic. But if there’s one lesson we learn from history, it’s that there will be ripple effects. We believe that society will get back to something resembling normal. However, what that normal looks like may be different.
Americans were becoming less social since before the pandemic. Now consumers have begun to realize there truly is no reason to leave their house to shop for anything. And while many crave physical connection during these times, there will be many that have changed their purchasing habits for good.
Other elements of the gig economy, such as ride-hailing and home rentals, were devastated due to the pandemic. Those businesses are likely to come back.
And that’s why companies that have created the gig economy aren’t going away anytime soon. In this special report, we’ll highlight several stocks that investors should consider as the gig economy moves forward.
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