By Mark DeCambre
In a frenetic trading session, the Nasdaq Composite forged a comeback for the history books on Friday.
The technology-laden index had been down by as much as 2.6% when it hit an intraday nadir at 12,397.05, as data released by the Labor Department on Frida y showed that a solid recovery was underway on the jobs front, pushing bond yields up sharply.
But when the day was out the Nasdaq Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP -0.98% had closed higher by 1.6% at 12,920.15, near its high of the day, marking the sharpest intraday comeback since Feb. 28, when the Nasdaq fell by as much as 2.5% and closed 0.1% higher. By another measure — the distance between the intraday extremes — the rebound was the index’s biggest since March 19, 2020, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
Optimism around the employment picture added to worries that red-hot technology stocks would wither in the face of the prospect of rising bond yields and inflation, which the nonfarm-payrolls report for February supported.
The data showed that the U.S. added 379,000 jobs last month — well above the forecast of 210,000 — and that the unemployment rate fell to 6.2% from 6.3%.
The 10-year Treasury note /zigman2/quotes/211347051/realtime BX:TMUBMUSD10Y +0.62% yield briefly jumped to around 1.62%.
The Nasdaq Composite closed Thursday trade just about 27 basis points from a decline of 10% from its most recent peak, on Feb. 12, which would meet the most commonly used definition for an asset correction.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -0.36% and the S&P 500 index /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -0.53% also were trading near session highs after both came under heavy selling pressure earlier in the session.
Comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Thursday helped to drive bond yields sharply higher because they were read as showing insufficient concern about inflation as the economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, with help from another dose of fiscal stimulus from Washington.