Stocks finished firmly higher Friday, as investors digested better-than-expected economic data and the latest trade headlines. The S&P 500 rallied 1% to another record closing high to cap a fourth-straight weekly gain. The Dow climbed 301 points, while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 1.1%, also ending the day at an all-time high. For the week, the S&P 500 rose 1.5%, while the Dow and Nasdaq Composite were each up 1.4% and 1.7%, respectively.
On the data front, the Labor Department’s non-farm payrolls report showed 128,000 jobs were added in October, exceeding analyst expectations of an 85,000 uptick. The unemployment rate rose to 3.6% from a 50-year low of 3.5%. Separately, the Institute for Supply Management’s gauge showed manufacturing activity improved slightly in October, though remained in contractionary territory for the third-consecutive month. Treasuries declined, with the yield on the 10-year note up four basis points to 1.72%. In commodities, WTI crude added 3.7% to $56.20/barrel, paring its weekly decline to 1%.
Risk sentiment was also supported on reassurance from President Trump, who said that Washington and Beijing would determine a new meeting site to sign a “Phase One” trade agreement later this month. Separately, Chinese officials stated a “consensus on principles” was reached with the U.S. during discussions this week.
Nine of 11 S&P 500 sectors closed in positive territory, with Real Estate and Utilities the laggards. Energy shares paced gains with Exxon Mobil climbing 3% following its positive quarterly results. In M&A news, Fitbit surged 15.5% after Google parent Alphabet agreed to purchase the smartwatch maker.