Treasuries fell for a fourth day, while oil and the U.S. Dollar Index (NYBOT:DXH14) rose as stronger-than-forecast jobs growth fueled optimism in the American economy. U.S. stocks fluctuated on Ukrainian tensions over the future of Crimea.
Treasury yields increased five basis points to 2.79% as of 12:43 p.m. in New York. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was up 0.2%, while the ruble headed for a fourth weekly decline of more than 1%. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index climbed less than 0.1%. Copper futures headed for the biggest loss in more than two years, while West Texas Intermediate crude increased 1%.
The Labor Department said employers added 175,000 jobs in February, topping the median forecast of economists for 149,000 and signaling the economy is starting to bounce back from a weather-induced setback. Russia said Ukraine must pay off almost $2 billion it owes it for natural gas by today and signaled it may cut supplies, ratcheting up the pressure on its cash- strapped neighbor. China’s onshore bond market had its first default.
“The more we can add jobs and get the economy to organically grow through traditional measures is a wonderful thing and equity markets are reacting to this as we expected,” Darrell Cronk, the New York-based regional chief investment officer at Wells Fargo Private Bank, which manages $170 billion, said by phone. “We want this economy to stand on its own two feet. We want this to be a self-sustaining growth engine.”
Global stocks are poised for a fifth week of gains as concern eased that Russia’s incursion into Ukraine would spark a broader conflict. Ukraine, a key transit nation for east-west energy supplies, is struggling to keep hold of Crimea after pro- Russian forces seized control of the peninsula. The West has urged Russia to pull back, and began yesterday to impose sanctions.
The S&P 500 (CME:ES) rallied 1% in the previous four days and is headed for a second weekly gain. More than $4 trillion has been added to equity values around the world since the Feb. 4 low to a record $63 trillion.
Data yesterday showed claims for unemployment benefits fell to a three-month low last week, stoking speculation U.S. companies are confident economic growth will rebound after harsh winter weather depressed demand.
Among U.S. shares moving today, Safeway Inc. slid 2.8% as investors weighed potential antitrust hurdles to an offer for the company. GT Advanced Technologies Inc. climbed 3.5% after Credit Suisse Group AG advised investors to buy the shares.
Investment flowing into exchange-traded funds focused on real estate this year has already eclipsed the 2013 total as concern over rising interest rates subsides and property markets improve. In 2014, 31 percent of money going into U.S. sector- focused ETFs, or $3 billion through March 6, was for real estate, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slipped 1.3%. Getinge AB, the maker of sterilization systems, sank 21% after giving a first-quarter profit forecast lower than analysts had estimated.
The U.S. sent six F-15 fighter jets to Lithuania and will dispatch 12 additional F-16s to Poland, the two countries’ defense ministries said yesterday. The U.S. Navy sent the guided-missile destroyer USS Truxtun into the Black Sea in what it called a routine visit unrelated to events in Ukraine.