Stocks Rally on Upbeat September Jobs Report

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Stocks posted a big rally Friday in the wake of a better-than-expected September jobs report.

Today’s Markets

The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 208 points, or 1.2%, to 17009, the S&P 500 climbed 21.7 points, or 1.1%, to 1967, and the Nasdaq Composite gained 45.4 points, or 1%, to 4475.

However, all three major indices still closed the week in negative territory, with Wednesday’s sharp selloff proving too much to overcome.

Wall Street has seen volatility increase in recent weeks amid questions over the timing of interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve. Escalating battles with Islamic State terrorists in the Middle East, as well as protests in Hong Kong, has also weighed on sentiment.

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On Friday, an upbeat jobs report gave Wall Street a boost as traders gained confidence that economic growth will remain on track once the Fed moves on interest rates.

The U.S. Labor Department said the economy added a seasonally adjusted 248,000 jobs in September. That topped a consensus estimate of 215,000. The unemployment rate dropped to 5.9%, the first reading below 6% since 2008, although participation in the labor force ticked lower.

Following the jobs report, gold prices slipped to four-year lows.

On the corporate front, General Motors (GM) announced two recalls and a stop-delivery order for its new 2015 mid-size pickup trucks. Shares rose 1.8% to $33.76.

Trades in RadioShack (RSH) were halted early Friday after reports of a $585 million financing package led by hedge fund Standard General.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell $1.40 higher, or 1.5%, to $89.61 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline dropped three cents to $2.37 a gallon.

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