US stocks jump

8 December, 2019 12:00 AM printer

NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks surged higher on Friday following a strong US jobs report, with petroleum-linked equities especially buoyant after an OPEC agreement to cut output.

Stocks closed higher for the third straight session, though a bit below all-time highs following the November jobs data, which topped expectations by a wide margin.

US firms added a massive 266,000 net new positions last month, while the jobless rate fell a tenth of a point to 3.5 percent, matching a 50-year low, reports AFP.

Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial, said investors were heartened at higher manufacturing employment following the end of the General Motors strike and that the report in general was strong enough “to assuage fears that the economy was slowing.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished at 28,015.06, up 1.2 percent.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.9 percent to 3,145.91, while the tech- rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced one percent to 8,656.53.

Besides the strong jobs data, markets were supported by positive sentiment about US-China trade talks. White House economic aide Larry Kudlow told CNBC a deal between the two economic giants “is still close.”

Petroleum producers Exxon Mobil and Chevron both won more than one percent after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies reached a deal in Vienna to cut production by 500,000 barrels per day.

Among individual companies, Uber Technologies dropped 2.7 percent as it disclosed that it had tallied nearly 6,000 sexual assaults in the United States over the past couple of years, including more than 450 cases of rape.