U.S. stocks jumped to record levels on Friday even after a disappointing April jobs report as the weak number made investors believe easy monetary policies that powered the market’s historic rebound will stay in place for longer. Some investors also dismissed the report as a one-time blip that doesn’t signal any slowdown in the economic recovery.The S&P 500 climbed 0.7% to 4,232.60, hitting a record high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 229.23 points, or 0.7%, to 34,777.76 to reach another closing high. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite popped 0.9% to 13,752.24.For the week, the Dow rallied 2.7% to break a two-week losing streak. The S&P 500 gained 1.2%, while the Nasdaq Composite shed 1.5% this week.The Labor Department said nonfarm payrolls increased by just 266,000 in April, far less than the 1 million total economists were expecting, according to Dow Jones. The unemployment rate rose to 6.1% last month amid an escalating shortage of available workers, higher than an expectation of 5.8%. Meanwhile, March’s originally estimated total of 916,000 was revised down to 770,000.Investors bet that the big jobs miss could keep the easy policies of the Federal Reserve in place, including record low interest rates and a massive bond-buying program. Tech stocks, which have been winning under the low-rates regime during the pandemic, outperformed after the data release. Microsoft and Tesla both rose more than 1%, while Netflix, Alphabet and Apple all registered gains. Higher rates tend to hit growth stocks the most since they reduce the value of their future earnings.”The Fed will feel some vindication in their hesitancy to embrace tapering,” Adam Crisafulli, founder of Vital Knowledge, said in a note following the jobs report Friday.Bank of America research warned as recently as Friday that strong economic data could hit stocks, especially tech shares, if it caused the central bank to dial back on its easy monetary policies.There were also some investors who believe that April’s jobs number was not exactly what it seems.”It was a huge surprise,” Goldman Sachs chief economist Jan Hatzius said on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.” “I think that you always have to take every data release with a grain of salt and this one I think you may have to take with a rock of salt,” he said, citing seasonal adjustments as a potential source of error.Still, the disappointing jobs number poured cold water on many economists who estimated a sharp rebound in job growth. Goldman Sachs economists expected a total of 1.3 million jobs to have been added in April.Some economists are forecasting double-digit growth in the current quarter after gross domestic product rose at a 6.4% annualized pace in the first quarter and more weak data could put those forecasts at risk.”It was a disappointing read on job creation and brings into question the assumption that Q2 is going to carry-forward the positive momentum established at the beginning of the year,” Ian Lyngen, head of U.S. rates at BMO, said in a note.Shares of Roku rallied more than 11% after the streaming company blew past expectations with its first-quarter results. Roku posted adjusted earnings of 54 cents per share, compared to an estimated loss of 13 cents per share, according to Refinitiv. Revenue rose 79% from a year ago and exceeded expectations.Become a smarter investor with CNBC Pro. Get stock picks, analyst calls, exclusive interviews and access to CNBC TV. Sign up to start a free trial today
Joe Biden did not appear downhearted by a disappointing jobs report: he said it would not be a sprint, but ‘a marathon’ after April’s report severely missed economists’ expectations.
The president noted his $1.9tn coronavirus relief package, which he signed into law in March, was meant to aid the US economy over the course of a year and insisted the country is ‘moving in the right direction’ as businesses begin to reopen
Mexican President Lopez Obrador and US Vice President Kamala Harris hold meeting to discuss migrant surge, corruption.Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has pitched a tree-planting jobs programme in Central America that he said should lead to work visas in the United States, in immigration talks on Friday with US Vice President Kamala Harris.
At the start of the call, Harris said the United States and Mexico must fight violence and corruption together, along with the root causes of migration in Central America.
“Together, we must fight violence, we must fight corruption and impunity”, Harris said.
President Joe Biden has entrusted Harris with leading efforts to cut immigration from Mexico and Central America’s “Northern Triangle” countries – Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador – as the administration grapples with an increase in people crossing into the United States at the southern border.
Harris addressed the crisis on the US-Mexico border, which she hoped to alleviate by providing relief to the Northern Triangle.
“[M]ost people don’t want to leave home and when they do it is often because they are fleeing some harm or they are forced to leave because there [is] no opportunity”, she said.
Lopez Obrador said he had a specific proposal he wanted to discuss with Harris. He did not give details, but told reporters minutes earlier that the tree-planting proposal was at the top of his mind.
During the call, the Mexican president noted “we have a common border that is over 3000km [1864 miles] long and we need to understand one another and avoid fighting”.
Lopez Obrador, who touted his good relations with both the previous Trump administration and the current Biden administration, told reporters at his regular news conference on Friday morning that he also favours safer migration.
Mexico’s AMLO tells @VP “There have been differences among us however we have a common border… We need to understand one another and avoid fighting”
He will share a “specific proposal” on migration policy w/ her privately pic.twitter.com/9p9gXOgq52
— Saleha Mohsin (@SalehaMohsin) May 7, 2021
“If there’s a regular, normal and orderly migratory flow, we can avoid the risks migrants take who are forced to cross our country,” he said.
The trees-for-visas proposal was met with some surprise when Lopez Obrador previously raised it at a Washington climate summit in April.
Before the meeting, Lopez Obrador also announced Mexico had sent a diplomatic note to the US asking for an exexplanation about its funding of an anti-corruption group critical of the government. He did not bring up the request during the meeting.
Asked what Harris hoped to accomplish in the talks and what if any agreements were expected, Ricardo Zuniga, the US special envoy on Central America’s Northern Triangle countries, said on Wednesday that the discussions would delve into immigration but also go beyond that issue.
“We’re undertaking these kinds of engagements with the view of the totality of our relationship with Mexico in mind,” Zuniga said. “Mexico is our largest trading partner … We’re deeply connected to them through economics and, through … our value chain and production chains.”
Harris has said she will visit Mexico and Guatemala on June 7 and 8. It will be her first foreign trip as vice president.
“No matter how much effort we put in on curbing violence, on providing disaster relief, on tackling food insecurity, on any event … we will not make significant progress if corruption in the region persists,” Harris said last week.
US facilities packed with underage migrants are being used to criticise the Biden administration’s handling of migration by both the Republican party and some progressives.
The majority of the migrants are unaccompanied minors, some as old as 17.
Canada’s labour market recovery hit a major snag in April, as the economy shed 207,100 jobs.Canada’s job recovery hit a snag in April as a third wave of lockdowns and Covid-19 restrictions led to fresh employment losses.
The country shed 207,100 jobs last month, Statistics Canada reported Friday from Ottawa, partially erasing large gains over the previous two months. Economists in a Bloomberg survey had predicted a drop of 150,000. The unemployment rate rose to 8.1% in April, from 7.5% a month earlier. The rate was below 6% before the pandemic.
Despite the setback, analysts expect a quick rebound as early as June once containment measures have been lifted with the economy back on track toward full recovery — as was the case after previous lockdowns. The bulk of the losses were limited to pandemic-exposed sectors, like retail, food and accommodation, a sign that the slowdown isn’t broad-based.
“Today’s jobs data doesn’t change the structural backdrop for the Canadian economic recovery,” Simon Harvey, a senior foreign exchange analyst at Monex Canada, said by email.
Canada’s economy remains about half a million jobs shy of pre-pandemic levels. The Canadian dollar was little changed after the report. The yield on Canada’s 10-year benchmark bond dipped to 1.49% as of 9:30 a.m. in Toronto, from a close of 1.514% on Thursday.
The U.S. Labor Department also released soft jobs data Friday that were even more disappointing. U.S. payrolls increased by just 266,000, versus estimates for a 1 million gain.
“Today is a concerning day,” Frances Donald, global chief economist and head of macro strategy at Manulife Investment Management, told BNN Bloomberg television. The U.S.’s scant job creation is a sign of possible future headwinds because Canada has trailed the U.S.’s growth trajectory by six to nine months, she said.
Overall, Canada’s labor market has recovered more quickly than in the U.S. It’s one of the key reasons why the Bank of Canada has indicated it’s prepared to start paring back its stimulus before the Federal Reserve, though the soft jobs data on both sides of the border could prompt a rethink on the pace of withdrawal.
The Bank of Canada curbed its purchases of Canadian government bonds in April, and is expected to do so again in coming months as the recovery accelerates.
“April will be a very weak month for the economy,” Benjamin Reitzes, Canadian rates and macro strategist at BMO Capital Markets, said by email. “Those who thought the Bank of Canada might taper again in July might have a rethink.”
Rising virus cases due to a combination of rapidly spreading variants and a vaccine rollout plagued by delays and confusion prompted Canadian authorities in recent weeks to reintroduce strict containment measures that hit jobs in close-contact sectors.
Friday’s jobs numbers suggest a tough start for the nation’s economy in the second quarter. Hours worked — which is closely correlated to output — fell 2.7% in April, the biggest monthly drop since the depths of the recession. April also saw the first drop in full time employment — down 129,400 — in a full year.
Still, the country has a strong track record of bouncing back after prior waves of the virus, bolstering confidence it will do the same again.
“The good news is that the curve is bending in some regions of the country and vaccinations are picking up pace, both of which should help the labor market begin to recover as the summer gets rolling.,” Royce Mendes, an economist at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, said by email. “Evidence from the recoveries after past waves suggest job growth can show up relatively quickly after virus cases are brought under control.”
(Updates with details throughout.)–With assistance from David S. Joachim.
“Today’s disappointing jobs numbers will heighten investor caution and raise concerns around the resilience of the US labour market – and to what extent the pace of the Covid-19 vaccination programme will boost economic activity and employment,” said Richard Flynn, UK managing director at Charles Schwab.
Hiring was a huge letdown in April, with nonfarm payrolls increasing by a much less than expected 266,000 and the unemployment rate rose to 6.1% amid an escalating shortage of available workers.Dow Jones estimates had been for 1 million new jobs and an unemployment rate of 5.8%.Many economists had been expecting an even higher number amid signs that the U.S. economy was roaring back to life. However, markets had only a mild reaction to the bad news, a sign that investors expect the Federal Reserve to keep its ultra-easy policies in place as well as belief that the big miss likely was a short-term phenomenon.”It certainly takes the pressure off the Fed and takes an imminent rate increase off the table,” said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade. “We’re not going to see inflation in wages, and we don’t have as many people employed as we thought, so we have to keep the party going.”There was more bad news: March’s originally estimated total of 916,000 was revised down to 770,000, though February saw an upward revision to 536,000 from 468,000.”I think this is just as much about a shortage in labor supply as it is about a shortage of labor demand,” said Jason Furman, an economist at Harvard University and a former Obama administration advisor. “If you look at April, it appears that there were about 1.1 unemployed workers for every job opening. So there are a lot of jobs out there, there is just still not a lot of labor supply.”The battered leisure and hospitality industry saw the biggest hiring gains, adding 331,000 workers though that still left the industry nearly 2.9 million shy of where it was before the pandemic.However, the lack of available workers is a “crisis,” said Carlos Gazitua, president and CEO of Sergio’s Restaurants in Southern California.”We’ve increased wages. We have about three different staffing agencies that are constantly looking for people,” Gazitua said. “Other restauranteurs are walking around neighborhoods passing out flyers. The heroes in our communities are the people currently working for you and me. These people are burnt out.”The “other services” industry was next in hiring with 44,000, due largely to gains in repair and maintenance as well as personal and laundry services.Local government education added 31,000 jobs as children returned to in-school learning, while social assistance increased by 23,000. Financial activities increased by 19,000.Professional and business services saw a steep 111,000 decline in jobs in temporary help, while support services lost 15,000 positions. Courier help declined by 77,000 and manufacturing lost 18,000 positions.Local government education added 31,000 jobs as children returned to in-school learning, while social assistance increased by 23,000. Financial activities increased by 19,000.Professional and business services saw a steep 111,000 decline in jobs in temporary help, while support services lost 15,000 positions. Courier help declined by 77,000 and manufacturing lost 18,000 positions.Total employment in the household survey rose by 328,000, still leaving the level more than 7.5 million below where it was in February 2020. The labor force participation rate rose two-tenths of a point to 61.7%, it’s best level since August 2020, while the employment to population level increased to 57.9%, its best since March 2020.That’s the best level since March 2020 but still below the 61.1% in February 2020.The report comes amid robust growth that saw gross domestic product rise at a 6.4% annualized pace in the first quarter, and as many economists see a burst of 10% or more in the second quarter.Businesses have stepped up the hiring pace as Covid-related restrictions have been relaxed amid widespread vaccine distribution and declining cases and hospitalizations. There are signs that the pace of hiring is likely to continue into the summer, as new jobless claims last week fell below 500,000 for the first time since the early days of the pandemic.Federal Reserve officials have been expressing confidence in the recovery’s pace recently but have stressed there is more ahead. The central bank is committed to returning to full employment that is inclusive across racial, gender and income classes, and has pledged to keep its ultra-easy policies in place even amid the rapid growth.The Fed has stressed that even with the large employment gains, there are still millions of Americans who were employed before the pandemic who have yet to return to work.At the same time, the Biden administration wants Congress to allocate some $4 trillion more in spending across a broad swath of areas it considers infrastructure.While that has been happening, multiple economic indicators have shown sharp rebounds in stimulus-driven retail spending, manufacturing and continued strength in the housing market.That activity has come as the U.S. vaccinates more than 2 million people a day, a pace that has tailed off recently but still remains strong.This is breaking news. Please check back here for updates.Become a smarter investor with CNBC Pro.Get stock picks, analyst calls, exclusive interviews and access to CNBC TV.Sign up to start a free trial today.
Signage outside the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE), operated by Japan Exchange Group Inc. (JPX), in Tokyo, Japan, on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021.Noriko Hayashi | Bloomberg via Getty ImagesSINGAPORE — Asia-Pacific stock markets were mostly higher on Thursday as investors look ahead to the U.S. jobs report due later this week for clues about how long the Fed will stay on hold.Japanese markets returned to trade for the first time this week after being closed for public holidays. The benchmark Nikkei 225 jumped 1.98% while the Topix index was up 1.97%.South Korea’s Kospi, which was also closed in the previous session, rose 0.7%. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index was up 1.15%.Chinese mainland shares traded for the first time in May after being shut for public holidays. The benchmark Shanghai composite rose 0.21% while the Shenzhen component declined 0.87%.Meanwhile, Australia’s ASX 200 slipped nearly 0.6% as most sectors were in negative territory.Thursday’s session in Asia-Pacific follows a mixed finish overnight on Wall Street where the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended at a new all-time closing high.U.S. jobs reportThe U.S. jobs report — one of the most influential economic reports in global financial markets — for April is due on Friday and economists say payrolls could easily reach 1 million after 916,000 jobs were added in March.Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Richard Clarida told CNBC’s “Closing Bell” on Wednesday that, as the jobs picture in the U.S. continues to improve, there needs to be considerable progress before the central bank will feel comfortable enough to pull back on all of the help it has provided since the Covid-19 pandemic cut short the longest expansion in U.S. history.Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen this week said that interest rates may have to rise to keep a lid on the burgeoning growth of the U.S. economy brought on in part by trillions of dollars in government stimulus spending. She later tempered her comments somewhat on the need for higher rates.”Despite constant reassurances from Yellen and an array of Fed officials that the coming increase in inflation will prove ‘transitory’ … markets are evidently a bit more worried,” Rodrigo Catril, senior foreign-exchange strategist at the National Australia Bank, said in a morning note.”Options prices indicate that the market (sees) a greater than one-in-three chance than US CPI could average more than 3% over the coming five years,” he said, adding that strong commodity prices have also helped to lift inflation expectations.Currencies and oilThe U.S. dollar slipped 0.06% to 91.255 against a basket of its peers, as the dollar index stayed relatively rangebound.Elsewhere, the Japanese yen changed hands at 109.31 per dollar, weakening from an earlier level around 109.14, while the Australian dollar was up 0.1% at $0.7755.Oil prices slipped Thursday during Asian trading hours. U.S. crude futures were near flat at $65.65, while global benchmark Brent traded 0.1% higher at $69.03 a barrel.Overnight, Reuters reported that U.S. crude inventories fell by 8 million barrels in the most recent week, exceeding expectations for a 2.3 million-barrel drop, according to the Energy Information Administration.In corporate news, shares of Singapore Press Holdings, publisher of the city-state’s daily broadsheet the Straits Times, were halted from trading pending a news announcement.
An email chain revealed by Epic Games as part of its lawsuit against Apple provides earlier context about Facebook’s battle with Apple over its App Store.Last August, Facebook said Apple’s App Store rules were hampering it from releasing its Facebook Gaming app for iPhones in the way it wanted to.Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said the company had to remove the part of the app that played games — the point of the app — in order to secure approval on Apple’s App Store for iPhones. Now, emails between three former Apple executives, including Steve Jobs, from 2011 show that a similar conflict between Apple and Facebook was likely part of the reason for a delay for the release of a Facebook app for iPads over a decade ago.Tensions between Apple and Facebook over what the App Store rejects are ongoing. Last year, Facebook publicly accused Apple of using its control over the App Store and iPhone to “harm developers and consumers.”The exchange was published as part of a cache of exhibits used in the Apple-Epic trial, but was removed after it was posted.Apple’s iPad came out in 2010, but Facebook didn’t release an app for it until October 2011. Between those two dates, a Facebook engineer even quit in a public blog post, citing delays in the app’s release partially because of a “strained relationship with Apple.”In July 2011, Apple’s then-software head Scott Forstall sent an email to former Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller and Jobs. In the message, he said that he had spoken with Mark — presumably Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg — about the Facebook iPad app.He wrote that he told Mark that Facebook should not include “embedded apps” in its Facebook iPad app.”Not surprisingly, he wasn’t happy with this as he considers these apps part of the ‘whole Facebook experience’ and isn’t sure they should do an iPad app without them,” Forstall wrote.At the time, Facebook was turning its social network into a platform for games and apps. The most famous of these was Farmville, a game where users tended gardens inside their Facebook accounts.Facebook wanted Apple to compromise. Mark suggested, according to Forstall:Facebook could omit a directory of Apps in the Facebook app — not even links.Facebook could prevent third-party apps from running in an “embedded web view,” or basically a browser inside the Facebook app.Facebook wanted Apple to allow user posts in the news feed related to apps. Forstall wrote that those were filtered at the time, because tapping those posts would do nothing.Facebook proposed having tapping one of those app links in the feed switch the user to a native app or take them to the App Store if one exists, or otherwise link out to Safari, the iPhone web browser.Jobs, then CEO of Apple, replied from his iPad: “I agree — if we eliminate Fecebooks third proposal it sounds reasonable.”Three days later, Forstall followed up, saying he had a long conversation with Mark, and that Facebook didn’t like Apple’s counterproposal to forbid Facebook apps to link out to Safari.”But according to Mark, there is no obvious way to distinguish between a poker game and the NYT. Both are Facebook developers and provide Facebook integration,” Forstall wrote.Schiller, who was Apple’s head of marketing until last year and runs Apple’s Executive Review Board that makes calls whether apps will be approved by Apple, summed up Apple’s position.”I don’t see why we want to do that,” Schiller wrote. “All these apps won’t be native, they won’t have a relationship or license with us, we won’t review them, they won’t use our APIs or tools, they won’t use our stores, etc.”When Facebook’s iPad app eventually launched, it said it would not support its own Credits currency on iOS for apps like Farmville — a compromise along the lines of what Apple’s executives discussed.In recent years, the rivalry between the two Silicon Valley neighbors has heated up. Current Apple CEO Tim Cook has taken lightly veiled shots at Facebook’s handling of user privacy, and used Facebook as the example for a recent feature about asking apps “not to track.”Facebook has mounted an ad campaign to say that the iPhone maker’s privacy features hurt small businesses. It has also continued to tweak Apple’s App Store policies, criticizing Apple’s 30% App Store fee for online events in addition to its complaints about its gaming app.Facebook isn’t part of Epic Games’ argument in its legal battle against Apple and its App Store policies. The trial started on Monday and is expected to run three weeks.
It’s been seven years since Gary Chung left his job in finance and product management.The 44-year-old is now a self-professed “slashie” — someone who pursues multiple careers in lieu of holding a traditional full-time job. “I decided to be a slashie because … working in Hong Kong, the overtime work, the intensity — I couldn’t stand it for quite a long time,” he told CNBC.Since taking the “leap of faith,” Chung has worked as a wedding cameraman and phonics teacher — but for now, he’s chosen to focus on being a Taekwondo instructor and sports products sales trainer.What is a ‘slashie’?American author Marci Alboher is commonly credited for popularizing the term “slash career.” She wrote a book about people who pursue multiple interests and income streams in search of a satisfying work life.One other example is Hugo Ho — a personal trainer/social entrepreneur/financial planner who lives in Hong Kong.”I don’t do the same thing day in and day out. Every day is different,” the 31-year-old told CNBC. “I am so refreshed and motivated every day.”The concept of being a slashie is somewhat similar to being a freelancer — yet different, said Vicki Fan, CEO of professional services firm Mercer’s Hong Kong business.”Freelancers tend to be … hour- or project-based, and they are happy with kind of troughs and peaks in terms of work,” she said.Being a slashie is “more formalized,” she explained. “They would be applying for similar roles that full-time people in the market will be applying for as well.”Growing trendAnecdotally, this path seems to be increasingly common in Hong Kong and around the world.Chung, the Taekwondo instructor/sports products sales trainer, said a lot of people want good work-life balance.”As a slashie … I would think that would be easier to balance,” he said, adding that many people also want to be YouTubers/internet influencers.Ho, the personal trainer, said technological advancements allow people to seek different career opportunities easily.For slashie work culture to be more embedded, two enablers have to be in place, and that’s from an employer’s perspective.Vicki FanMercer Hong KongAccording to Mercer’s Fan, there has been an increase in the number of slashies, especially as a result of the pandemic.However, she does not see slashies replacing the mainstream workforce.”For slashie work culture to be more embedded, two enablers have to be in place, and that’s from an employer’s perspective,” she said.The first is a redefinition of work to focus more on skills or responsibilities, and less on working hours and processes. “Many companies’ existing roles do not work like that,” Fan said.Secondly, slashies need to have opportunities and access to benefits such as health care. Otherwise, there’s likely to be a cap on the number of people willing to be slashies.Considerations for potential slashiesChung is under no illusion about the trade-offs between a traditional profession and his own unconventional career choice, having given up a stable income and a job with health insurance to be a slashie.”It’s quite a big risk,” he said. “As a father of two, it’s really a … big leap of faith.”The coronavirus crisis also hit him. With retail businesses suffering, he did not get much work as a sales trainer. At the same time, the Taekwondo gym where he coaches also had to close temporarily, and classes were moved online.We have been working so hard, I would say thrice as hard, but earning maybe half as much.”We have been working so hard — I would say thrice as hard, but earning maybe half as much,” he said.It’s important to be financially ready for a drop in income, especially at the start, Chung said.”Once I quit my job to become a slashie, I think I was earning only one third of my (previous) salary,” he said. Slashies-to-be must also have good knowledge of the roles they take up, be disciplined and have support from their families, he advised.Mercer’s Fan said employers may also view slashies differently if they apply for a full-time role.Comparing the resumes of a slashie and a traditional employee, hiring managers may question whether a slashie can be dedicated to the job.No turning backThat’s unlikely to be a concern for Chung and Ho — both men say they’re not interested in going back to regular 9-to-5 jobs.Ho said he would “definitely not” return to a traditional full-time role.”I enjoy being a slashie because I can have my flexibility,” he said.Chung said he now earns more than he used to and enjoys what he does.”I really love what I do now,” he said. “As a slashie, as a Taekwondo coach, I don’t have to work so much, so … I can spend more time with my family.”— CNBC’s Vivian Kam contributed to this report.