Wall Street ends up as US jobs data suggests strength

·2-min read

US stocks have closed sharply higher, with shares of Apple Inc rallying after upbeat results while US jobs data pointed to a resilient labour market.

Apple's quarterly results also cheered investors worried about a potential recession.

The iPhone maker's shares were the biggest positive influence on all three major US stock indexes.

The US Labor Department report showed job growth accelerated in April and wage gains increased solidly, suggesting the labour market has stayed strong despite recent interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve.

With the jobs report, "it's about the state of the US economy, and what we saw today suggests it's in a better position than previously expected," Kristina Hooper, chief global market Strategist at Invesco in New York, said.

Investors have been worried that the rate hikes may eventually push the economy into recession.

Regional bank shares also rebounded after recent weakness tied to the collapse of First Republic Bank.

PacWest Bancorp rallied along with Western Alliance Bancorp.

The S&P 500 gained 74.55 points, or 1.84 per cent, to end at 4,135.77 points, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 264.67 points, or 2.21 per cent, to 12,231.07 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 541.01 points, or 1.63 per cent, to 33,668.75.

On Wednesday, the US central bank raised rates by 25 basis points as expected but Fed Chair Jerome Powell noted it was too early to say with certainty that the rate-hike cycle was over as inflation remains the chief concern.

Apple drove gains in other tech shares but all 11 major S&P sectors were higher on the day.

The estimated decline in first-quarter S&P 500 earnings has been getting smaller since the start of the reporting season and is now at just 0.7 per cent year-over-year, Refinitiv data showed on Friday.