US stocks regain lost ground after jobs report slump

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Wall Street stocks rallied on Friday after an initial slump, as traders digested a stronger than expected US jobs report.

The world’s biggest economy added 336,000 jobs in September, according to the latest government data, initially raising concerns that this could support the case for the US Federal Reserve to again lift interest rates.

But other data from the Labor Department helped assuage some of these worries — wage growth slowed on an annual basis while the unemployment rate held steady, the report said.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.9 percent to end at 33,407.58.

The broad-based S&P 500 surged 1.2 percent to 4,308.50, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index rallied 1.6 percent to 13,431.34.

Stocks initially declined when the US economy was seen adding about twice as many jobs as analysts expected, said CFRA chief investment strategist Sam Stovall.

The worry was that Fed officials would hold rates higher for longer or raise rates again this year to cool the economy.

But “looking at the heart of the issue, they saw that the inflation component, the wages component, came in much weaker than expected,” Stovall said.

He added that the news adds to hopes of a “soft landing” for the economy, meaning inflation can come down as interest rates rise — without a damaging recession.

Among individual companies, shares in General Motors gained around two percent while Ford rose 0.8 percent.

This came as the US auto workers’ union said Friday that it would not expand an ongoing strike to other plants this week, with United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain hailing a “breakthrough” concession from GM. (AFP)



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