U.S. stocks opened higher Monday following a strong jobs report and ahead of fresh data that is expected to show recovery in the U.S. services sector.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 267 points, or 0.8%, shortly after the opening bell. The S&P 500 added 0.7% and the Nasdaq Composite also climbed 0.7%.
Stock markets Monday have their first chance to react to Friday’s jobs report, which showed that U.S. hiring surged in March as the economic recovery accelerated. Employers added a seasonally adjusted 916,000 jobs in March, the best gain since August. The fast pace of hiring has bolstered hopes for a stronger economic rebound and continued driving investors to stocks hardest hit by the pandemic.
Investors have focused on the pace of hiring for signs of a strong economic rebound after measures to contain the spread of Covid-19 restricted business activity, causing some to lay off workers last year. New applications for unemployment benefits have trended down since then and Friday’s report offered signs that hiring may be picking up again.
“It was a blockbuster report on all fronts, exceeding expectations in a really big way,” said Hani Redha, a portfolio manager at PineBridge Investments. “The market has already started to respond. The direction of stocks will be very positive.”