US stocks rally on strong jobs data

New York: US equities finished significantly higher on Friday, fuelled by better-than-anticipated jobs data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 301.13 points, or 1.11 percent, to 27,347.36. The S&P 500 rose 29.35 points, or 0.97 percent, to 3,066.91. The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 94.04 points, or 1.13 percent, to 8,386.40, Xinhua reported.

Nine of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors climbed, with energy and industrials up 2.51 percent and 2.21 percent, respectively, leading the gainers. Real estate and utilities, however, struggled.

US employers added 128,000 jobs in October, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday. The reading topped the 75,000 forecasts of economists surveyed by MarketWatch.

Job gains mainly occurred in food services and drinking establishments, social assistance, and financial activities, the report showed. Within manufacturing, employment in motor vehicles and parts decreased, the bureau said, due to the six-week strike at General Motors.

The unemployment rate edged up by 0.1 percentage point to 3.6 percent, after hitting 3.5 percent in September, the lowest since December 1969, according to the report.

Other data released on Friday included a gauge of US manufacturing, which showed the sector contracted for a third straight month in October amid global trade uncertainties.

US manufacturing PMI (purchasing managers’ index) registered 48.3 percent in October, following a September reading of 47.8 percent, reported the Institute for Supply Management. Any reading below 50 percent indicates a contraction in the industry.

The corporate earnings season continued on Friday. Of the S&P 500 companies that have delivered earnings by far, about 75 percent have topped analysts’ estimates.