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US: Wall Street climbs after jobs data as tech, financials rise

Saturday, July 8, 2017 - 06:00

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[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks closed on a high note Friday, with the S&P 500 index posting its best gain in six sessions on the heels of a US payrolls report that gave investors more confidence in the strength of the US economy.

The economy added 222,000 jobs last month, Labor Department data showed, exceeding expectations of a 179,000 gain, putting the Federal Reserve on track to raise interest rates once more this year. However, muted wage growth may give the Fed room to pause if need be.

"The fears of rates rising too quickly have dissipated and market participants are looking for bargains in stocks that have sold off recently," said Andrew Frankel, co-president of Stuart Frankel & Co in New York.

"Maybe there was just enough bad news in a great jobs number to keep the Fed off the gas pedal."

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Perceived chances of a rate hike at the UScentral bank's December meeting stood at 48.9 per cent, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Policymakers have taken opposing views on inflation after it retreated further below the Fed's 2 per cent target in May, creating uncertainty over the future path of rate hikes.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 94.3 points, or 0.44 per cent, to end at 21,414.34, the S&P 500 gained 15.43 points, or 0.64 per cent, to 2,425.18 and the Nasdaq Composite added 63.62 points, or 1.04 per cent, to 6,153.08.

The technology sector, up 1.25 per cent, led the charge higher, buoyed by gains of more than one per cent in market-cap heavyweights Apple, Microsoft and Facebook.

Despite slumping nearly 3 per cent last week, the tech sector is up more than 17 per cent on the year, tops among the 11 major S&P groups.

With the Fed now expected to remain on track for a rate hike later this year financials, up 0.56 per cent, also advanced as they benefit from a steepening of the yield curve.

Tesla rose 1.42 per cent after the luxury electric carmaker said about 3,500 vehicles were in transit to customers at the end of the second quarter and they would be counted as deliveries in the third quarter.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 2.19-to-one ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.59-to-one ratio favoured advancers.

About 5.74 billion shares changed hands in US exchanges, well below the 7.13 billion daily average over the last 20 sessions.

REUTERS

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