U.S. Stocks Tick Up After Upbeat Jobs Report


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U.S. equity markets drifted higher Friday as traders digested the better-than-expected October jobs report.

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Today's Markets

As of 12:00 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 84.8 points, or 0.54%, to 15679, the S&P 500 advanced 15.2 points, or 0.87%, to 1762 and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 52.8 points, or 1.4%, to 3910.

The Labor Department said the American economy added 204,000 jobs in October, widely beating estimates of an increase of 125,000. The unemployment rate rose by 0.1 percentage point to 7.3%, matching forecasts. The labor force participation rate – a measure of the proportion of the population employed or seeking employment – dropped to 62.8%, the lowest level since March 1978.

A report from the Commerce Department showed U.S. consumer spending ticked up by 0.2% in September, matching expectations. Meanwhile, personal income climbed 0.5%, topping estimates of a 0.3% advance.

Separately, analysts at Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) said they expect the U.S. economy to grow at an annual pace of 1.5% in the fourth quarter, down from a previous assumption of 2%, as the impact of the shutdown weighs.

The data have come under additional scrutiny recently as traders try to determine when the Federal Reserve will begin paring back its vast bond-buying program.

At the same time, traders will get another report on consumer income and spending. At 9:55 a.m. ET, the markets will get a look at consumer sentiment. Both gauges are important as the key holiday-shopping season kicks off.

On the European front, Standard & Poor's chopped down France's credit rating from "AA+" to "AA." The ratings company cited weak economic growth and what it called "fiscal constraints." The move sent the country's CAC 40 index tumbling more than 1%.

Germany's exports, meanwhile, surged 3.6% on a year-to-year basis, with the economic giant's trade surplus hitting a record high.

In corporate news, Disney (NYSE:DIS) posted fiscal fourth quarter earnings that topped Wall Street's expectations.

Elsewhere, U.S. crude oil futures rose 13 cents, or 0.14%, to $94.33 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline edged up by 0.4% to $2.513 a gallon. Gold was little changed at $1,308 a troy ounce.

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