Fed Rate Cut Expectations Rise After February Jobs Report: Friday's Stock Movers

Zinger Key Points
  • February's labor report showed a robust job increase but a surprising uptick in unemployment.
  • Atlassian notably surged 2.0%, while Paramount Global faced a -2.59% decline.

The February labor market report presented mixed signals on the employment front, with a notable and larger-than-expected increase of 270,000 in nonfarm payrolls over the month, yet a higher-than-expected rise in the unemployment rate, moving from 3.7% to 3.9%.

Additionally, the employment changes for December and January were revised downwards, subtracting a total of 167,000 nonfarm payrolls previously calculated for those two months.

Perhaps the clearest data came from the trend in wages, which grew less than expected, thereby alleviating fears about their potential impact on inflation.

In February, the pace of increase in average hourly earnings was 0.1%, a decrease from the 0.4% in January and lower than the expected 0.3%. On an annual basis, wage growth is 4.3%, down from the 4.4% expected and from January’s figure.

Overall, the data from the February labor market report has further fueled market bets on Federal Reserve rate cuts.

Traders assign an 83% probability on a rate cut occurring by June, as per CME Group’s FedWatch Tool. Additionally, they estimate a total of 105 basis points of cuts by the end of the year, implying a scenario where four cuts are fully priced in.

Stocks slightly increased after the release, with futures on the S&P 500 index up by 0.3%, and those on the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 inching 0.2% higher. The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust SPY closed at an all-time high on Thursday.

Stock Movers On Friday’s Morning Trading

Below is a list of stocks (with at least $10 billion of market capitalization) reacting to the job report release, as indicated by data from the Benzinga Pro platform.

Top Gainers After Jobs Report

between 08:30-09:20 ET
Atlassian TEAM2.0%
JM Smucker SJM1.87%
GFL Environmental GFL1.84%
Petrobras Brasileiro PBR1.65%
Southern Copper SCCO1.58%
A.O. Smith AOS1.53%
Rivian Automotive RIVN1.52%

Worst Losers After Jobs Report

between 08:30-09:20 ET
Paramount Global PARA-2.59%
Samsara Inc. IOT-1.79%
Williams-Sonoma, Inc. WSM-1.67%
Suzano S.A.-1.35%
Biogen Inc. BIIB-1.29%
Barrick Gold Corporation GOLD-1.24%
Ambev S.A. ABEV-1.19%
Skyworks Solutions-1.18%

Read now: Happy Women’s Day! If You Had Invested $1,000 In These Female-Led S&P 500 Companies A Year Ago, Which Would’ve Fetched The Best Returns?

Photo: Shutterstock

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Posted In: EquitiesLarge CapMacro Economic EventsMid CapBroad U.S. Equity ETFsTop StoriesEconomicsFederal ReserveTechETFsemploymentInterest RatesJobs Reportlabor marketStories That MatterUnemployment
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