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Monday, October 24, 2016

U.S. Stocks Higher Despite Weak Jobs Growth

New York City (AFP) – U.S. stocks Tuesday moved higher despite a U.S. labor report that showed disappointing jobs growth in September.

About 35 minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 86.59 (0.56 percent) to 15,478.79.

The broad-based S&P 500 added 10.54 (0.60 percent) at 1,755.20 while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index increased 20.42 (0.52 percent) to 3,940.47.

The gains came even as a U.S. Labor Department report showed the country added 148,000 jobs in September, well below the 183,000 expected by analysts.

But the report, delayed due to the partial government shutdown, showed the unemployment rate fell to 7.2 percent from 7.3 percent a month earlier.

A note from Charles Schwab said the jobs report suggests that the Federal Reserve is not likely to reduce its stimulus program for the economy in the near future. analyst Patrick O’Hare said a trove of quarterly earnings reports from Dupont, Netflix and several other companies were “mostly better than expected.”

Dow component Dupont advanced 0.8 percent after earnings bested expectations by 4 cents at 45 cents per share. The company reported higher sales volumes across most segments.

United Technologies, another Dow component, increased 0.5 percent after the company raised the low end of its full-year profit forecast range. However, revenues of $15.5 billion lagged expectations of $16.2 billion.

Netflix rose 3.5 percent after reporting that subscribers to its on-demand video service reached 40 million, up from fewer than 30 million a year earlier. Profits also rose.

Delta Airlines tacked on 5.3 percent after earnings of $1.41 per share bested expectations by five cents. The company gave an upbeat assessment of market conditions, pointing to “strong holiday bookings” through the end of the year.

Handbag and accessory maker Coach fell 8.5 percent after revenues came in slightly below expectations at $1.15 billion. The company said North American sales fell 1 percent.

Mining giant Freeport-McMoran jumped 4.6 percent after profits of 79 cents per share exceeded forecasts by 17 cents. Results were boosted by recently-acquired oil and gas projects.

Bond prices rose. The 10-year Treasury fell to 2.54 percent from 2.62 percent Monday, while the 30-year declined to 3.63 percent from 3.68 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.

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