New York: US stocks rose nearly 1 per cent on Friday, taking comfort from October data that showed US jobs growth slowed less than expected and China’s factory activity expanded at its fastest pace in more than two years.
The Labor Department’s non-farm payrolls data showed jobs growth in October came in at 128,000 compared to expectations of 89,000, according to economists polled by Reuters. However, growth still slowed from September.
The report also showed hiring in the prior two months was stronger than previously estimated, offering assurance that consumers would continue to prop up the slowing economy for a while.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq breached its record level for the first time since July, while the benchmark S&P 500 notched its fourth record high this week.
At 10:21am. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 220.80 points, or 0.82 per cent, at 27,267.03, the S&P 500 was up 23.55 points, or 0.78 per cent, at 3,061.11 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 73.34 points, or 0.88 per cent, at 8,365.70.
Both the indexes logged their best month in four in October after an upbeat start to the third-quarter earnings season and a largely positive US-China trade rhetoric.
Most of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were trading higher on Friday, with the technology sector, led by Apple Inc, providing the biggest boost.
“It’s interesting because there was an expectation of 50,000 jobs being gone simply because of the GM strike but clearly that doesn’t show up,” said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas.
“That tells me that it was a very strong report.” Meanwhile, China manufacturing activity unexpectedly expanded in October as new export orders rose and plants ramped up production.
On the trade front, US. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the initial “phase one” trade pact with China appears to be in good shape and is likely to be signed around mid-November, although a finite date is still in question.
Among stocks, oil major Exxon Mobil Corp rose 1.7 per cent after it beat recently lowered third-quarter profit expectations, while peer Chevron Corp fell 0.5 per cent as it posted a 36 per cent drop in quarterly profit.
Qorvo Inc jumped 17.2 per cent after the Apple supplier announced a $1 billion share buy-back plan and forecast third-quarter revenue above expectations.
Pinterest Inc tumbled 21.6 per cent after the online scrapbook company missed quarterly revenue estimates.
Arista Networks Inc slumped 25.4 per cent after the cloud infrastructure supplier forecast current-quarter revenue much below Wall Street expectations.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 3.72-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 3.62-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 30 new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 56 new highs and 17 new lows.