US equity benchmarks were extending gains on Friday morning after better-than-expected jobs data and a rally within the energy sector the morning after President Donald Trump moved ahead with a plan to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports.
Nine of the 11 key Standard & Poor's 500 Index sectors were higher at the time of writing, lead by energy, technology and financials, up by 1.62%, 1.13% and 1.15%, respectively. Declining sectors were led by telecommunications and utilities, 0.71% and 0.14% lower, respectively.
In economic news, nonfarm payrolls rose by more than expected in the month of February while the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.1%. Some 313,000 new roles were created, ahead of analysts' estimates for around 200,000, marking the largest monthly increase seen in more than a year and a half, according to data published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In equities, Wynn Resorts ( WYNN ) was leading the gainers on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index, up by 5.8% after saying late Thursday that it had concluded a settlement agreement with Universal Entertainment and Aruze USA.
Helmench & Payne ( HP ) was 3.5% higher after brokerage firm Susquehanna upgraded its rating on the stock to positive from neutral. Helmerich & Payne's average rating among analysts is a hold, with an average price target of $57. Oilfield services company TechnipFMC was 3.3% higher and Arthur J Gallagher & Co ( AJG ), an insurance brokerage and risk management services firm, up by 3.1%.
Decliners on the index were led by Mattel ( MAT ), 9.2% lower after Barclays downgraded it to underweight from equal weight with a price target of $16. Mattel's ( MAT ) average rating among analysts is a hold, with an average price target of $19. Energy company Scana ( SCG ) was down by 4.2% and Kimco Realty (KIM), a real estate investment trust, was 3.9% lower. Toy-maker Hasbro (HAS) was down by 3.6%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.79% higher, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up by 0.83% and the Nasdaq was 0.89% higher at the time of writing.
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