Dow Pops 500+

Stocks jumped sharply Friday after a softer-than-expected April jobs report boosted hopes that the Federal Reserve could start cutting interest rates soon.

The Dow Jones Industrials popped 524,51 points, or 1.4%, to begin Friday at 38,750.17.

The S&P 500 galloped 62.12 points, or 1.2%, to 5,126.32.

The NASDAQ zoomed 307.46 points, or 1.9%, to 16,148.42.

Friday’s non-farm payrolls report showed 175,000 jobs gained in April, below the 240,000 jobs expected by economists surveyed by Dow Jones. The unemployment rate edged up to 3.9%, versus 3.8% in the prior month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wage figures also came in less than expected — an encouraging sign for inflation.

With Friday’s moves all the major averages are headed to finish the week with gains. The Dow and NASDAQ have added 1.2% each, while the S&P is up 0.3%.

Strong quarterly reports from major Dow components contributed to Friday’s rally. Apple advanced 7% after it announced a $110-billion share repurchase and a top -and bottom-line beat. Biotech Amgen surged 14% after posting better-than-expected earnings and offering a positive update on an experimental obesity drug.

Prices for the 10-year Treasury jumped, lowering yields to 4.50% from Thursday’s 4.58%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices lost 41 cents $78.54 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices retreated $21.20 to $2,288.40.