S&P 500, Nasdaq set records on jobs data, trade headway | Money

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. — Reuters pic
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. — Reuters pic

NEW YORK, Nov 2 ― US stocks rallied to close out the trading week yesterday as the S&P 500 set a closing record for the third time in five days after an upbeat US jobs report and data on Chinese manufacturing eased concerns about slowing global growth.

Job growth slowed less than forecast in October, as a drag from a strike at General Motors was made up for in other areas of the labor market, while job gains in the prior two months were stronger than previously thought.

“A nice surprise, and also there were upwards revisions for September and August,” said Jeff Kravetz regional investment strategist at US Bank Wealth Management in Phoenix.

“To us that is an indication of the resiliency of the economy this late in the cycle and for today that is what is putting investors at ease and putting them on a risk-on mode here.”

The strong jobs number helped overshadow a report that showed the manufacturing sector contracted for a third straight month.

Along with the S&P’s new high, the Nasdaq eclipsed its July closing record. The S&P has climbed for four straight weeks, its longest streak since February, while the Nasdaq has gained in five straight weeks as quarterly earnings have come in stronger than anticipated and US-China trade rhetoric has appeared to be productive. The Dow sits less than 12 points from a closing record.

Before the jobs report, sentiment was supported by data showing China manufacturing activity unexpectedly expanded in October, easing concerns about a slowdown in demand from the world’s second-largest economy as a result of US tariffs.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 300.86 points, or 1.11 per cent, to 27,347.09, the S&P 500 gained 29.36 points, or 0.97 per cent, to 3,066.92 and the Nasdaq Composite added 94.04 points, or 1.13 per cent, to 8,386.40.

For the week, the Dow rose 1.44 per cent, the S&P 500 climbed 1.47 per cent and the Nasdaq rose 1.74 per cent.

US-China trade news remained supportive for stocks, as Beijing’s state-media Xinhua News Agency reported the two countries have “reached consensus on principles.” Earlier, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the “phase one” trade pact with China appeared to be in good shape.

About 76 per cent of the 356 S&P 500 companies that have reported so far have beaten profit estimates, according to Refinitiv data.

However, profit growth forecasts for the next four quarters have been revised lower, even as expectations for a decline in third-quarter earnings have shrunk to 0.8 per cent from 2.2 per cent at the start of October.

Oil major Exxon Mobil Corp rose 3.00 per cent after it beat recently lowered third-quarter profit expectations. The energy sector gained 2.50 per cent as the best-performing S&P sector, and oil prices jumped on trade deal progress.

Qorvo Inc jumped 20.23 per cent after the Apple supplier announced a US$1 billion (RM4.15 billion) share buyback plan and forecast third-quarter revenue above expectations.

But Pinterest Inc plunged 17.02 per cent after the online scrapbook company missed quarterly revenue estimates.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 2.81-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.86-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 44 new 52-week highs and two new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 113 new highs and 39 new lows. ― Reuters

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