U.S. stock indexes stood firm midday Friday, as the market shrugged off weak payroll numbers and a dip in the participation rate.
The Nasdaq rose 0.7%, while the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones industrial average added roughly 0.3% respectively. The small cap Russell 2000 advanced 0.8%. Volume in the stock market today was lower on both major exchanges vs. the same time Thursday.
Before the open, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported payroll and employment data for May. Nonfarm payrolls added 138,000 jobs, which was 25% below the consensus view and under the lowest estimate in the range. The average monthly gain over the previous 12 months was 181,000.
The jobless rate dipped one tick to 4.3% from 4.4%, as the participation rate fell to 62.7% from 62.9%.
Stock indexes generally remained calm. The day’s losers were mostly in the lowly rated oil patch. Field services stocks dropped 3%, and drillers 2%. On the upside, RV stocks, metal handling, airlines and fiber optics posted solid gains.
FedEx (FDX) broke out in heavy volume. The stock had been consolidating since mid-December in a flat base. The buy point is 201.67. FedEx’s previous breakout came in November. The stock advanced about 13% before starting its current consolidation. In Q1, Fidelity Contrafund (FCNTX) reduced its stake by 23%.
Delta Airlines (DAL) reclaimed a 50.28 buy point. The stock began forming a cup-with-handle pattern in mid-December. The buy point in the handle was 50.28. Delta cleared the handle May 25 in soft volume but then fell back under the buy point. Friday’s retaking of the buy point came in hefty volume.
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has a position in Delta but trimmed the stake 8% in Q1.
Oil prices dropped 2% to under $47.50. Market watchers said President Trump’s pullout from the Paris climate pact would lead to more drilling and therefore lower prices on the increased supply.
Amid highly rated stocks, stocks moving in fast trade included Five Below (FIVE) off 1%; TAL Education (TAL), up 3%; Align Technology (ALGN), up 2%; Broadcom (AVGO), up 7%; Ferrari (RACE), up 2%; Canada Goose (GOOS), up 9%; and Applied Materials (AMAT), up 2%.