Stock Markets Jump in Response to Jobs Report

It wasn’t too hot. It wasn’t too cold.

Investors welcomed Friday’s unemployment and jobs data from the government, which showed a near-perfect combination of surprisingly strong job growth and little indication of rising wages that could prompt the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates faster.

“The February jobs report seems supportive of the goldilocks economic story of continued strong employment gains amidst moderate inflation pressures,” wrote economists from BNP Paribas in a client note Friday.

The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index rose about 1 percent after the news, driven by gains in energy, financial and industrial stocks.

The economy produced 313,000 new jobs in February. After the report, investors moved out of super-safe United States government bonds, pushing prices down and yields — which move in the opposite direction — slightly higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, an important benchmark, topped 2.90 percent.

Friday’s market reaction was in sharp contrast to what happened after last month’s employment report. Then, a faster-than-expected rise in wages worried investors that inflation was coming. Stock markets plunged, as investors feared that the Fed would hike interest rates to fend off inflation.