Trading on Wall Street steadied on Friday, after two wild days that saw the market rally and then collapse in rapid succession, after the latest report on U.S. employment showed that hiring continued at a rapid pace in April.
Government bond yields were also little changed. The yield on 10-year Treasury notes, a proxy for investor expectations about interest rates, hovered just above 3 percent.
Earlier Friday, the Labor Department reported employers added 428,000 jobs in April, while average hourly earnings rose 5.5 percent from a year ago. The unemployment rate remained steady at 3.6 percent.
With the Federal Reserve quickly withdrawing support from the economy, economists have noted that the strong job market and wage acceleration could incentivize the central bank to lift interest rates more aggressively. In April, the Fed chair, Jerome H. Powell, described the labor market as “unsustainably hot,” and investors fear that the Fed could push the economy into a recession if it takes things too far.
“Today’s report is balanced and may prove to dampen the extreme volatility of recent days,” John Lynch, chief investment officer at Comerica Wealth Management, wrote in a note. “We’re still not out of the woods, yet a clearing is visible.”
Still, the stock market has been hammered this year amid uncertainty about the fate of the economy. If stocks do end the week with a gain, it’ll be after the S&P 500 fell 8.8 percent in April, its biggest monthly drop in two years.