US STOCKS-Strong U.S. jobs growth helps Wall Street overlook trade worries
By Sruthi Shankar and Savio D’Souza
July 6 (Reuters) – The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq rose to two-week highs on Friday as strong U.S. jobs growth and a surge in Biogen’s shares helped ease fears of an escalating U.S.-China trade dispute.
Biogen rose as much as 15.7 percent and was set for its biggest percentage gain in over a decade after the company and Japanese drugmaker Eisai Co said their Alzheimer’s drug showed promise in a mid-stage trial.
The S&P healthcare index rose 1.3 percent, while the Nasdaq biotech index jumped 3.2 percent.
The gains were broad based, with all the 11 major S&P indexes and 29 of the 30 Dow components rising.
Nonfarm payrolls increased by 213,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said, topping expectations of 195,000, while the unemployment rate rose from an 18-year low to 4 percent and average hourly earnings rose 0.2 percent.
The moderate wage growth allayed fears of a strong build-up in inflation pressures, keeping the Federal Reserve on a path of gradual interest rate increases.
“Today’s number really doesn’t indicate that wage pressures are getting out of hand, that’s a positive for the market,” said Anthony Saglimbene, global market strategist, Ameriprise Financial Services in Troy, Michigan.
Dispute between the United States and its trading partners has rippled through financial markets since early March when President Donald Trump first threatened tariffs on metal imports.
The United States and China slapped tit-for-tat duties on $34 billion worth of each other’s imports on Friday, with Beijing accusing Washington of triggering the “largest-scale trade war”.
Trump also warned the United States may