- Non-farm payrolls miss forecasts slightly
- Jobless rate steady at 6.7 per cent
- Upwards revisions made to previous months
- IMS Health, GrubHub rise in New York debut
Dow Jones: 0.14%
S&P 500: 0.28%
US stocks were registering small gains on Friday morning after a resilient jobs report which showed that the weather-induced volatility in data over recent months has subsided.
IMS Health and GrubHub were among the best performers early on after impressive debuts on the New York Stock Exchange.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was trading 0.1% higher shortly after the opening bell, the S&P 500
was up 0.3%, but the Nasdaq was down 0.1%.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that non-farm payrolls increased by 192,000 in March, lower than the 200,000 forecast. This was also down from the 197,000 gain in February, though this was revised higher from the initial 175,000 estimate. The unemployment rate remained steady at 6.7%, surprising analysts who had expected a fall to 6.6%.
Despite the slight miss on the headline figure, the labour-force participation rate and average weekly hours both increased in March.
Meanwhile, revisions to payroll numbers from January and February were revised higher by a net 37,000 "showed that the effect on the labour market during the harsh winter weather was less severe than previously thought", according to Lee Mumford, Financial Sales Trader at Spreadex.
"Now that the weather-related weakness is behind us, we anticipate that the monthly gains in payroll employment will remain close to the 200,000 mark, driving the unemployment rate gradually lower and allowing the Fed to continue winding down its monthly asset purchases," said Paul Ashworth, Chief US Economist at Capital Economics.
IMS and GrubHub surge on market debuts
IMS Health Holdings gained on its first day of trading in New York. The company priced its initial public offering (IPO) at $20 a share, in line with the $18-21 expected range, valuing it at $6.64bn. It rose to $22 in early trading. The prescription-data provider raised $1.3bn after offering 65m shares, making it the second-largest IPO of the year in the States.
Online food ordering firm GrubHub, meanwhile, priced its IPO at $26 per share, ahead of the estimated range of $23-25, valuing it at $2.04bn. It raised $192m after selling 7.4m shares
and surged as much as 41% early on.
Delta Air Lines was lower after revealing that it is considering acquiring as many as 50 jets to replace its Boeing 747-400 and 767-300ER planes.
Generic drug firm Mylan saw shares surge ahead of the opening bell after The Wall Street Journal reported that it is looking to buy Swedish pharmaceutical group Meda.
West Texas Intermediate futures were trading 0.9% higher at $101.19 a barrel on the NYMEX.
The yield on the benchmark US 10-year Treasury was down four basis points at 2.76%.