* 151,000 jobs added in August vs est. 180,000
* Unemployment rate unchanged at 4.9 pct
* Lululemon falls after comparable-sales growth misses estimates
* Indexes up: Dow 0.53 pct, S&P 0.47 pct, Nasdaq 0.37 pct (Updates to open)
By Tanya Agrawal and Mamidipudi Soumithri
Sept 2 (Reuters) - Wall Street opened higher on Friday after data showed U.S. employment growth slowed more than expected in August, which could rule out an interest rate increase this month.
The Labor Department’s monthly jobs report showed nonfarm payrolls rose by 151,000 last month, while the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.9 percent.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast payrolls rising 180,000 last month.
Rate hike probabilities for September and December had risen after last Friday’s remarks by Fed Chair Janet Yellen that the case for raising rates had strengthened in recent months. The Fed next meets on Sept. 20-21.
“I don’t think this is the kind of report that the Fed wanted to see ahead of a hike in September, the contours are just too squishy. This should put to rest the conversation on September,” said Tom Porcelli, chief U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets in New York.
The odds of a rate hike in September stood at a measly 12 percent, according to CME Group’s FedWatch tool. The measure stood at 24 percent before the jobs report was released.
With the labor market near full employment, a slowdown in job growth is normal. Yellen has said the economy needs to create just under 100,000 jobs a month to keep up with population growth.
At 9:40 a.m. ET (1340 GMT), the Dow Jones industrial average was up 96.84 points, or 0.53 percent, at 18,516.14, the S&P 500 was up 10.1 points, or 0.47 percent, at 2,180.96 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 19.12 points, or 0.37 percent, at 5,246.32.
All 10 major S&P sectors were higher, with the energy index’s 0.90 percent rise leading the advancers.
Oil prices rose about 2 percent after the jobs report weighed on the dollar.
Banks, which benefit from higher interest rate, fell in early trading.
Bank of America, Citigroup and JPMorgan were down between 0.5 percent and 0.16 percent.
Lululemon Athletica shares were down 8.9 percent at $69.85 after the Canadian yoga wear retailer reported quarterly comparable-sales growth below expectations.
Ambarella was down 6.1 percent at $67.68 after the video processing chip maker reported a fall in quarterly sales.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 2,185 to 489. On the Nasdaq, 1,354 issues rose and 895 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed 24 new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 72 new highs and four new lows. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Don Sebastian)