US STOCKS-Financials lead Wall St higher; utilities lag

viernes 5 de diciembre de 2014 12:47 GYT

* Indexes up: Dow 0.4 pct, S&P 0.2 pct, Nasdaq 0.3 pct (Updates prices)

By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK Dec 5 (Reuters) - Bank shares led gains Friday on Wall Street after November payrolls data came in much stronger than anticipated, raising market expectations a rate hike from the Federal Reserve may materialize sooner than previously thought.

Payrolls rose by 321,000 in November, the largest number in nearly three years and way above the 230,000 estimated, while the unemployment rate held steady at 5.8 percent, a six-year low.

Financials led the S&P 500's gains, up 1 percent, as higher interest rates would prop up earnings in the sector, while utilities, a dividend play, were among the biggest losers as Treasuries yields rose.

"This report solidifies the idea that the economy is getting stronger, and the more economic activity on Main Street, the better it will be for financials," said Adam Sarhan, chief executive of Sarhan Capital in New York.

"The economy doing well is win-win-win across the board for financials, because it means more lending, more economic activity, and with markets at highs, brokers are getting more in commission and this and that. Financials are poised to move much higher."

Not everything was rosy, however, as new orders for U.S. factory goods fell for a third straight month in October, pointing to a slowdown in manufacturing activity.

At 11:35 a.m. EST (1635 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average rose 67.49 points, or 0.38 percent, to 17,967.59, the S&P 500 gained 4.67 points, or 0.23 percent, to 2,076.59 and the Nasdaq Composite added 16.01 points, or 0.34 percent, to 4,785.44.   Continuación...