Solid Jobs Report, Earnings Push Stocks Broadly Higher

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks moved broadly higher in early trading on Wall Street Friday and are on track to bounce back after a two-day slide.

Major indexes, including the S&P 500, are still heading for weekly losses. First quarter company earnings have come in mixed so far, but they have been good enough to ease worries that company profits would slump overall.

Banks and consumer-related stocks lead the gains. Newell Brands, which makes Sharpie and Elmer's products, surged on a solid earnings report. Amazon rose following reports that Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway was buying the stock.

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Utilities and real estate companies lagged the market, a sign that investors are less interested in safer holdings and more comfortable taking on risk as they feel more confident in the economy.

That confidence was given another healthy shot from the Labor Department on Friday when it reported job growth in April that surged well past economists' forecasts. It also reported that unemployment in April fell to a five-decade low.

The solid job figures helped push bond prices slightly higher. The yield on the 10 year Treasury fell to 2.53%.

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The week is ending with another round of company earnings news. United States Steel, Weight Watchers and Monster Beverage are among the latest companies to give investors surprisingly good results.

KEEPING SCORE: THE S&P 500 index rose 0.5% as of 10 a.m. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.5%, or 135 points, to 26,445. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.8%

SOLID QUARTER: United States Steel surged 11% after a sharp increase in sales helped push profit far beyond Wall Street forecasts. The sharp gains come amid a weak year for the company. Its stock is down 12.5% so far in 2019 while the S&P 500 index is up nearly 17%.

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ENERGIZED EARNINGS: Monster Beverage rose 7% after the energy drinks company powered past Wall Street's first quarter profit forecast. The company reported a solid increase in sales of its namesake energy drink that helped drive a surge in profit.

SLIMMER LOSSES: Weight Watchers surged 18% after reporting losses for the first quarter that were much slimmer than expected. The company also raised its profit forecast for the year.


By AP reporter Damian J. Troise


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