Nonfarm payrolls surged 379,000 jobs last month after rising 166,000 in January. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast a rise of 182,000 jobs.
After the data, the benchmark 10-year US Treasury yields hit a new one-year high of 1.626%. Rate-sensitive bank stocks rose about 1.6% on prospects of an improved economic outlook.
“It shows the reopening is on track and occurring faster than we thought,” said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment strategist at Inverness Counsel in New York.
“The consensus is that stimulus is necessary to kickstart the economy and to strengthen the recovery.”
A sharply divided US Senate will begin a contentious debate on Friday on a $1.9 trillion coronavirus aid bill that is President Joe Biden’s first major legislative initiative.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Thursday offered an optimistic view of the labor market, but cautioned a return to full employment this year was “highly unlikely.”
Powell’s comments disappointed many investors who expected moves to rein in a recent jump in the US 10-year Treasury yield that has set the Nasdaq on course for its third straight weekly decline.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq on Thursday wiped off all of its gains for 2021 and stopped short of ending 10% below its Feb. 12 closing high that would confirm a correction.
The Russell 1000 value index, which is heavily comprised of cyclical stocks such as financials and energy jumped about 1%, while the Russell 1000 growth index, which includes technology stocks, slipped about 0.1%.
At 10:10 p.m. IST, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 36.48 points, or 0.12%, to 30,888.09 and the S&P 500 fell 21.13 points, or 0.58%, to 3,746.60.
The Nasdaq Composite lost 204.96 points, or 1.61%, to 12,518.49, weighed down by a 10% fall in Tesla Inc shares.