U.S. stock futures climbed on February’s stronger-than-expected employment report, while government bond yields also extended their recent surge.
Futures had been up modestly ahead of the data, before giving up their gains and then trading higher again. Contracts linked to the S&P 500 edged up 1% in choppy trading. The broad market index is poised to close out its third week of declines. It was down 1.1% for the week by the close on Thursday, dropping to its lowest level since the end of January.
Contracts tied to the technology-heavy Nasdaq-100 ticked 1% higher, after tech stocks dropped on Thursday.
“There’s volatility to be expected, especially after we’ve had a bit of a selloff, a bit of a rocky week,” said Cliff Hodge, chief investment officer at Cornerstone Wealth. “It’s not surprising that we’re bouncing around. People are looking for direction.”
The February jobs report showed the economy added 379,000 new jobs last month, ahead of estimates of 210,000. The unemployment rate was 6.2%, versus the consensus of 6.3%. Those figures add to signs of a slow improvement in the labor market, after data on Thursday showed filings for unemployment benefits reached their lowest level in three months.