November 4, 2016 / 7:12 PM / 2 years ago

US STOCKS-S&P set to snap losing streak after strong jobs report

* Data shows strong U.S. job growth, rising wages

* S&P 500, Nasdaq set to snap 8-session losing streaks

* All three major indexes poised to post weekly losses

* Indexes up: Dow 0.03 pct, S&P 0.18 pct, Nasdaq 0.11 pct (Updates to late afternoon)

By Lewis Krauskopf

Nov 4 (Reuters) - Wall Street gained modestly on Friday after a strong U.S. employment report as investors sought bargains after a spate of selling sparked by uncertainty over the impending U.S. elections.

The S&P 500 was on track to snap a streak of eight straight days of declines, which had been the benchmark’s longest run of down days since the 2008 financial crisis. The tech-heavy Nasdaq was also on pace to snap an eight-session losing streak.

Over its losing streak, the S&P 500 had fallen nearly 3 percent. Investors have been unnerved by signs of a tightening presidential race between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, after Clinton had until recently been thought to have a clear lead.

“Investors are buying anything that looks like a dip and that is because the fundamentals continue to be pretty good even though I think there is a lot of anxiety about next week’s election,” said Kate Warne, investment strategist with Edward Jones in St. Louis. “With the pullback, I think investors are seeing some bargains out there.”

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 5.24 points, or 0.03 percent, to 17,935.91, the S&P 500 gained 3.78 points, or 0.18 percent, to 2,092.44 and the Nasdaq Composite added 5.47 points, or 0.11 percent, to 5,063.88.

U.S. employers maintained a strong pace of hiring in October and boosted wages for workers, the Labor Department report on Friday showed. Nonfarm payrolls increased by 161,000 jobs last month amid gains in construction, healthcare and professional and business services.

While that was below economists’ forecast for growth of 175,000 jobs, solid labor market fundamentals were underscored by revisions to August and September data, which showed 44,000 more jobs created than previously reported.

“The upward revisions over the last two months suggest that the overall picture is continued job growth,” Warne said. “That means that consumers have more money and that should continue to support economic growth.”

For the year, the S&P 500 is up 2.5 percent.

In an encouraging sign for stocks, S&P 500 companies are on pace to increase earnings by 3.9 percent in the third quarter, ending a four-quarter streak of profit declines, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Higher-than-expected quarterly profits from biotech company Regeneron and health insurer Humana lifted those companies’ shares along with the S&P healthcare sector , which was the best performing group on Friday.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.55-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.75-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 4 new 52-week highs and 13 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 28 new highs and 126 new lows. (Additional reporting by Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Chizu Nomiyama)

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