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US: Stocks lifted by jobs data but Apple shares fall

[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks opened higher Friday following strong US jobs data, but disappointment over Apple earnings limited the gains on the Nasdaq.

About 10 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.7 per cent to 25,561.72.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.5 per cent to 2,754.69, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index edged up 0.2 per cent to 7,452.01, despite the hit to Apple shares.

US government data showed the world's biggest economy added 250,000 jobs in October, well above analyst expectations. Unemployment held steady at 3.7 per cent and wages rose a solid 3.1 per cent above the year-ago level.

Investor sentiment was bolstered by optimism over a US-China trade deal after Bloomberg News reported that President Donald Trump had directed his staff to begin drafting a potential trade agreement.

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The report, which was disputed by Bloomberg rival CNBC, follows a positive statement from Mr Trump on Thursday about the state of negotiations with China after a phone call with the nation's leader.

Some market watchers have been skeptical of Trump's statements on trade, citing the US president's determination to help Republicans hold Congress in midterm US elections Tuesday.

Apple slumped 4.9 per cent as investors focused on lower-than-expected volume of iPhone sales, and expressed disappointment at the fourth-quarter sales outlook, which was lower than some analysts expected.

But the tech giant reported a 32 per cent jump in quarterly earnings to US$14.1 billion.


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