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U.S. stocks gain on advancing jobs report; Dow up 0.98%

Stock MarketsNov 08, 2013 04:27PM ET
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This article has already been saved in your Saved Items - U.S. stocks applauded a better-than-expected October jobs report and rose on Friday amid hopes a more buoyant economy will improve business for American companies over the long run.

At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 0.98%, the S&P 500 index rose 1.34%, while the Nasdaq Composite index rose 1.60%.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported earlier that the U.S. economy added 204,000 jobs in October, far surpassing expectations for a 125,000 increase.

The August figure was revised to 238,000 from 193,000, while the September figure was revised to 163,000 from 148,000.

The U.S. unemployment rate ticked up to 7.3% last month from 7.2% in September, in line with expectations.

The robust data depicted an improving economy, which drew applause on Wall Street, and also  rekindled expectations that the Federal Reserve could announce plans to scale back its USD85 billion-a-month stimulus program soon.

Stimulus programs aim to drive recovery by depressing borrowing costs, boosting stocks in the process, and talk of their dismantling can deflate share prices namely by fueling uncertainty over how equities will perform without a monetary crutch.

Stocks rose, however, as investors digested the data and determined the Fed will continue stimulating the economy likely into 2014, as the labor force participation rate remains soft while fewer high-quality jobs are being created when compared to retail, leisure and hospitality jobs.

Stocks also rose on sentiment that the Federal Reserve may opt to wait to announce plans to begin tapering asset purchases at its March meeting, when Janet Yellen takes control of the U.S. central bank.

Elsewhere, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's preliminary consumer sentiment index for November ticked down to 72.0 from 73.2 in October, disappointing expectations for a rise to 74.5.

Leading Dow Jones Industrial Average performers included JPMorgan Chase, up 4.46%, Goldman Sachs, up 2.22%, and Merck, up 2.17%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average's worst performers included Home Depot, down 0.31%, McDonald's, down 0.20%, and IBM, which was up 0.04%.

European indices, meanwhile, finished largely lower.

After the close of European trade, the EURO STOXX 50 fell 0.33%, France's CAC 40 fell 0.48%, while Germany's DAX 30 fell 0.03%. Meanwhile, in the U.K. the FTSE 100 finished up 0.17%.

U.S. stocks gain on advancing jobs report; Dow up 0.98%

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