Stocks higher …Solid jobs report…G-7 security agreement
NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks are opening higher on Wall Street, keeping the market on track for a solid weekly gain, after the government reported that hiring rebounded in March. Technology companies and retailers posted some of the biggest gains in early trading Friday. The S&P 500 index rose 7 points, or 0.2%, to 2,887. The index is up 1.8 percent for the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 72 points, or 0.3%, to 26,450. The Nasdaq rose 23 points, or 0.3%, to 7,915. Bond prices were little changed. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury held steady at 2.51%.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Hiring in the United States rebounded in March as U.S. employers added a solid 196,000 jobs, up sharply from February’s scant gain and evidence that many businesses still want to hire despite signs that the economy is slowing. The labor Department reported the unemployment rate remained at 3.8%, near the lowest level in almost 50 years. Wage growth slowed a bit in March, with average hourly pay increasing 3.2% from a year earlier. That was down from February’s year-over-year gain of 3.4%, which was the best in a decade.
PARIS (AP) – The interior ministers of the Group of Seven, a gathering of the world’s most advanced economies, on Friday adopted joint commitments to better handle the world’s top security challenges. In a statement at the end of a two-day meeting in Paris, the G-7 countries agreed to reinforce tools to combat the smuggling of migrants and human trafficking. They stressed the need for facilitating access to asylum for refugees and implementing the forced return of migrants who are denied permission to remain.
LONDON (AP) – British Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday sought to delay Brexit until June 30 to avoid a chaotic withdrawal from the European Union in one week, but a key leader of the bloc suggested an even longer pause in the difficult divorce proceedings. The question over timing is vital because Britain is set to leave the EU without a withdrawal deal in place on April 12 unless an agreement is reached at a Brussels summit set to take place two days earlier.
BRUSSELS (AP) – The European Union’s competition watchdog is stepping up its investigation of a U.S. video game platform and five game makers over concerns they blocked players from buying cheaper versions of games in other countries. The EU’s competition commissioner said Friday that Valve Corp., which owns the Steam online PC game distribution platform, and the computer game publishers Bandai Namco, Capcom, Focus Home, KochMedia and ZeniMax, breached the bloc’s antitrust rules by agreeing to use “geo-blocked activation keys” to prevent cross-border game sales.