CORRECTED-US STOCKS-Wall St rallies; S&P 500 posts best day since August
(Corrects to August from March in headline)
By Caroline Valetkevitch
NEW YORK Oct 3 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 posted its best day since August on Friday following a stronger-than-expected September U.S. jobs report that bolstered the outlook for the U.S. economy.
Despite the rally, however, major indexes ended down for the week, with the first diagnosis of Ebola in a patient in the United States and protests in Hong Kong among the main catalysts for sharp selling earlier in the week.
The Labor Department reported that U.S. nonfarm payrolls rose by 248,000 last month and the jobless rate fell two-tenths of a point to 5.9 percent.
"There were a number of fears in the market, and the market had been giving up a lot of its gains. I think the jobs report took away a lot of the near-term concerns about the pace of the U.S. economy's (growth), and short-covering helped," said Robbert Van Batenburg, director of market strategy at Newedge USA LLC in New York.
All 10 S&P sectors ended in positive territory, though the S&P energy index was the day's weakest and ended barely higher following further declines in oil prices . The energy index was down 3.8 percent for the week.
Financial and healthcare shares were among the day's biggest positives. The Dow Jones transportation average also rallied, ending up 2.1 percent, its biggest daily percentage gain since March, as airline stocks jumped. Shares of Delta Air Lines rose 4.7 percent to $36.95.
The Russell 2000 index rose 0.8 percent, but was down 1.3 percent for the week, its fifth straight week of losses. Continuación...