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Stocks close higher after a strong monthly jobs report

CNBC logo CNBC 6/1/2018 Fred Imbert and Matt Clinch

A stronger-than-expected jobs report pushed stocks higher Friday as Wall Street recovered some of the losses seen in the previous session.

The Dow closed 219 points higher, with Goldman Sachs rising more than 1 percent. The S&P 500 gained 1 percent as financials and tech rose. The Nasdaq added 1.5 percent.

The U.S. economy added 223,000 jobs in May, while economists polled by Reuters expected a gain of 188,000. Average hourly earnings, meanwhile, rose 0.3 percent last month while the unemployment rate ticked down to 3.8 percent.

"Today's jobs numbers pack a wallop," said Mike Loewengart, vice president of investment strategy. But "with significant year-over-year wage gains, the inflation fears of February could pick up steam again, which could bring a chorus of Fed hawks squawking for more rate hikes."

"These numbers could serve as a wake-up call that our economy is hustling despite geopolitics, but that could also bring added volatility as market participants adjust their expectations for increased Fed action," he said.

Expectations for a rate hike in December ticked up following the report's release, according to the CME Group's FedWatch tool.

President Donald Trump touted the report ahead of its release, saying in a tweet: "Looking forward to seeing the employment numbers at 8:30 this morning."

Treasury yields jumped on the report, with the benchmark 10-year yield trading at 2.92 percent and the two-year yield rising to 2.492 percent.

Bank stocks followed rates higher. J.P. Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America all rose more than 1 percent.

Friday's gains come as stocks fell Thursday after Trump slapped tariffs on the European Union, Mexico and Canada. The EU followed up the U.S. announcement by saying it would impose countermeasures of its own, while Canada Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said the country plans to slap dollar-for-dollar tariffs on the U.S.

Trump's tariffs sent stocks lower, with the Dow closing 251 points lower on Thursday. Mexican and Canadian stocks also fell.

The news on tariffs comes at a time when the U.S., Canada and Mexico continue negotiations on a new trade agreement. Trump has railed against the current trade deal between the three countries, NAFTA, calling it the worst ever.

"NAFTA is the most important matter when it comes to trade and [these tariffs] don't help," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley FBR. "It's like punching your friend in the face and then asking him to go to the movies."

CNBC's Cheang Ming and Mike Calia contributed to this article.


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