Stocks jump as jobs growth cools more than expected

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Stocks futures jumped on Friday as investors weighed a cooling in jobs growth that could reinforce hopes that the Federal Reserve is done with its rate-hiking campaign.

Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) futures rose 0.4%, while S&P 500 (^GSPC) futures added almost 0.4%, while contracts on the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 (^NDX) put on almost 0.3%, with all three gauges coming back from losses earlier in the morning.

The US economy added 150,000 jobs in October, undershooting the 180,000 reading expected, with auto industry strikes a factor, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said. The unemployment rate ticked higher to 3.9%.

The health of the labor market is a key input for Fed policymakers, and the signs of a slowing economy should support the case for the central bank to hold off from another rate hike this year.

Read more: What the Fed rate-hike pause means for bank accounts, CDs, loans, and credit cards

Tech stocks were recouping losses earlier in the morning after disappointing results from Apple (AAPL). While Apple’s earnings beat estimates in its quarterly report after the bell, the iPhone maker was cautious in its outlook for growth, saying it expects sales of iPads, Macs and wearables to “decelerate significantly.”

Investors are weighing what that could mean about the resilience of consumer, and whether the series of disappointing earnings this season might feed into the Fed’s assessment of how its tightening is dampening the economy.

  • October jobs report shows slowdown in growth

    The monthly labor report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed 150,000 nonfarm payrolls were added to the labor market in October, compared with the consensus estimate of 180,000 from economists surveyed by Bloomberg. It marks a fall in growth from the 334,000 reading in September.

    The unemployment rate ticked higher at 3.9%, after coming in at 3.8% the previous month.

  • Tech stocks struggle with focus on Apple, jobs report

    Tech stocks slipped amid muted trading on the major US stock gauges as investors assessed Apple’s cautious sales outlook and waited for the October US jobs report.

    Futures on the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 (^NDX) fell 0.19%, while S&P 500 (^GSPC) futures dropped 0.06%. Contracts on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) were down 0.03%, or 29 points.

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