U.S. Stocks Move Sharply Higher Following Monthly Jobs Report

Stocks have moved sharply higher during trading on Friday, regaining ground after closing lower for four consecutive sessions. The major averages saw some volatility early in the session but have shown strong moves to the upside since then.

Currently, the major averages are not far off their best levels of the day. The Dow is up 514.54 points or 1.6 percent at 32,515.79, the Nasdaq is up 139.35 points or 1.4 percent at 10,482.29 and the S&P 500 is up 59.90 points or 1.6 percent at 3,779.79.

The rally on Wall Street comes following the release of the Labor Department’s closely watched monthly employment report for October.

The report showed non-farm payroll employment jumped by 261,000 jobs in October after surging by an upwardly revised 315,000 jobs in September.

Economists had expected employment to climb by about 200,000 jobs compared to the addition of 263,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

Meanwhile, the Labor Department said the unemployment rate rose to 3.7 percent in October from 3.5 percent in September. The unemployment rate was expected to inch up to 3.6 percent.

The report points to continued strength in the labor market, but traders may feel the uptick in the unemployment rate will encourage the Federal Reserve to slow the pace of interest rate hikes.

“This labor report allows Fed Chair Powell to stick to the hawkish script for a while and still support the idea of a downshift in tightening for the next policy meeting,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA.

He added, “Unless next week’s inflation report is a scorcher, the Fed will opt for a slower rate pace of rate increases.”

Gold stocks have skyrocketed on the day, resulting in an 8.3 percent surge by the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index. The index is bouncing off its lowest closing level in a month.

The rally by gold stocks comes amid a sharp increase by the price of the precious metal, with gold for December delivery soaring $45.40 to $1,676.30 an ounce.

Substantial strength is also visible among steel stocks, as reflected by the 6.9 percent spike by the NYSE Arca Steel Index. With the jump, the index has reached a two-month intraday high.

Computer hardware stocks are also seeing considerable strength on the day, driving the NYSE Arca Computer Hardware Index up by 4.7 percent.

Semiconductor, tobacco, chemical and oil service stocks have also shown strong moves to the upside amid broad based buying interest.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index slump by 1.7 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index surged by 2.4 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all shown substantial moves to the upside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index has spiked by 3.2 percent, the German DAX Index is up by 3.1 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is up by 2.6 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have climbed back near the unchanged line after seeing early weakness. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by less than a basis point at 4.127 percent.

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