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Stocks post seven-day winning streak after strong March jobs report

Heidi Chung

The S&P and Dow closed out the week at year-to-date highs after a stronger-than-expected March jobs report.

As of market close, the S&P 500 (^GSPC) rose 0.46%, or 13.35 points, and posted a seven-day winning streak, while the Dow (^DJI) jumped 40.36points, or 0.15%, and the Nasdaq (^IXIC) was up 0.59%, or 46.91 points.

The U.S. economy added a cool 196,000 jobs in March, rebounding from a weak month that prompted markets to question the strength of the labor market.

Wall Street economists were expecting the U.S. economy to have added 175,000 non-farm payrolls in March, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Meanwhile, February’s sharply lower-than-expected 20,000 job additions were revised up to 33,000.

The unemployment rate stayed steady at 3.8%, the same pace of increase as in February, according to consensus economists polled by Bloomberg.

The labor force participation rate ticked slightly lower to 63.0%. On average, economists were expecting to see the labor force participation rate remain unchanged, at a five-and-a-half year high of 63.2%.

Average hourly earnings grew 3.2% year-over-year, below estimates for 3.4% growth. Month-over-month, average hourly earnings grew 0.1%, below the 0.4% increase seen in February.

[Read more: What to expect from March’s jobs report]

President Donald Trump meets China's Vice Premier Liu He in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Thursday, April 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Meanwhile, more claims of progress in trade negotiations followed President Donald Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He’s meeting Thursday evening. Although President Trump told reporters that there was still “a ways to go” before a meaningful deal is on the table, Vice Premier He said that a “new consensus” on trade was reached.

President Trump has hinted that a future signing summit with President Xi Jinping could be on the horizon when a deal is reached between the two feuding nations, though an exact timeline has not been discussed. According to the president, it could take four weeks to put together a framework for a proposed deal and an additional two weeks to get everything written down on paper.

Morning Brief

Heidi Chung is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @heidi_chung.

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