Wall Street roars as November jobs growth blows past forecasts

Daniel Fowler
December 8, 2019

United States stocks advanced on Friday as a strong jobs report and upbeat comments from President Donald Trump on trade talks with China breathed new life into markets after a roller-coaster week.

The S&P 500 posted 54 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 124 new highs and 45 new lows.

NASDAQ index rose 85.826 points or 1.0%. The unemployment rate edged down to 3.5%.

(MENAFN - Baystreet.ca) Stocks surged on Friday on the back of U.S.jobs growth that easily topped analyst expectations as Wall Street wrapped up a choppy week of trading.

All three major USA stock indexes gained ground, hovering within 1% of record highs set last week.

S&P index rose 28.42 points or 0.91% at 3145.85.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks outpaced other indexes with a 1.1% gain.

The encouraging reports offer reassurance for investors who may have been anxious that consumers might be pulling back on spending, said Rob Haworth, senior investment strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management.

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In Asia overnight Friday, the Hang Seng advanced 0.2%, the China CSI 300 rose 0.6%, while the Shanghai Composite Index closed 0.4% higher. The Dow and Nasdaq are both 0.6% off their records.

"After the sharp slowdown at the start of the year, the recent rebound in employment growth is clearly encouraging, and suggests that the loosening in financial conditions this year is starting to support the economy", said Andrew Hunter, a senior USA economist at Capital Economics, in a note.

Investors also got some encouraging news on the U.S. -China trade war. All of the main indexes are now set to log weekly losses of around 1% each.

"All that's keeping it together from the USA perspective at the moment is the consumer", said James Athey, investment analyst at Aberdeen Standard Investments. Tariffs on another $156 billion in Chinese goods are set to go into effect on December 15. -China trade front, with Beijing saying Friday that it is waiving punitive tariffs on us soybeans and pork as negotiations for a trade deal continue.

China has been seeking relief from some tariffs as part of the negotiations.

Energy stocks were buoyed by a 1.1 per cent rise in crude prices following an agreement between Opec and its allies to extend output cuts through 2020. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.83% from 1.79% late Thursday.

Uber fell 2.8% after a safety report revealed that more than 3,000 sexual assaults were reported during its USA rides in 2018.

Gold for February delivery was off $2.70, or 0.2%, at $1,480 an ounce on Comex.

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