Stocks finished firmly higher Friday as investors assessed the monthly jobs report. The Dow jumped 372 points, trimming its weekly retreat to 0.9%. The S&P 500 climbed 1.4%, but notched its third consecutive weekly loss with a 0.3% decline. The Nasdaq Composite gained 1.4%, flipping its weekly performance into positive territory with a 0.5% advance.
The major averages rallied after the Labor Department revealed non-farm payrolls increased by 136,000 in September, just below analyst projections of 145,000. Average hourly earnings were flat month-over-month in September, missing expectations of a 0.3% advance. Additionally, the unemployment rate dipped to a 50-year low of 3.5%. Investor sentiment was buoyed after the so-called “Goldilocks” release dampened recessionary concerns, but still supported expectations for another Federal Reserve rate cut later this month. Market participants also weighed comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell, who reiterated the U.S. economy “faces some risks” but is “in a good place.” Treasuries were mixed, with the yield on the 10-year note off one basis points to 1.52% on its seventh consecutive decline.
All 11 S&P 500 sectors ended in positive territory, with seven groups jumping more than 1%. In corporate news, Apple advanced 2.7% amid reports the Tech giant ordered a 10% increase in production for the iPhone 11. HP missed out on the broad advance, falling 10.1% after the computer hardware company revealed its restructuring plan.
In commodities, WTI crude added 0.9% to $52.90/barrel, but notched a more than 5% weekly drop. COMEX gold dipped 0.1% to $1,506.30/ounce despite the U.S. dollar weakening for a fourth consecutive day.