US stocks rally on slowing job gains, global markets mixed

Investors welcomed data showing hiring slowed in the United States in October as it means there is less pressure for the Fed to raise interest rates (ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS)
Investors welcomed data showing hiring slowed in the United States in October as it means there is less pressure for the Fed to raise interest rates (ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS)

Stocks rose Friday after data showed US job growth cooled in October, easing concerns about further interest rate hikes.

Oil prices fell on profit taking despite a softer dollar, which usually boosts demand for crude. Gold prices climbed.

While the 150,000 jobs added to the US economy was partly impacted by the US auto strike, it was still less than what analysts had forecast and down from a revised 297,000 in September.

The slower jobs growth reported Friday by the Labor Department "has further cemented expectations that the (Federal Reserve) has reached peak interest rates," said market analyst Fawad Razaqzada at City Index and

After a fallow two months, equity markets recovered some of their mojo after the US central bank Wednesday left borrowing costs on hold for a second straight meeting and hinted that no more increases were likely.

While Fed boss Jerome Powell left the door open for another rise as officials battle to sustainably bring down inflation, traders were skeptical, with elevated US bond yields seen acting as a substitute for more tightening.

"It seems silly to cheer weakening activity in the labor market, but the key takeaway from this report is that it resonates as a 'soft landing report' that will keep the Fed from raising the fed funds rate again," said's Patrick O'Hare.

Powell said the Fed was not thinking about cutting rates right now.

"Yet the market is embracing the thought that this employment data could mean the Fed is at least a step closer to starting to think about cutting rates," O'Hare added.

Meanwhile the latest surveys of US business activity "painted the picture of consumers who are feeling the pinch following two years of inflation and rapidly rising interest rates," said Craig Erlam at OANDA.

Wall Street's three main indices moved higher, with the Dow ending 0.7 percent up.

European stocks failed to hold onto gains, closing mixed.

Asian equity indices rallied, catching up with strong gains Thursday on Wall Street and Europe after the Fed and Bank of England maintained their interest rates as global inflation cools.

Apple shares ended 0.5 percent down after the company reported that sales fell year-on-year for a fourth quarter in a row, although profits rose.'s O'Hare said the disappointment was tied to the sales guidance for this quarter which works out to a five percent decline in real terms.

- Key figures around 2030 GMT -

New York - Dow: UP 0.7 percent at 34,061.32 (close)

New York - S&P 500: UP 0.9 percent at 4,358.34 (close)

New York - Nasdaq: UP 1.4 percent at 13,478.28 (close)

London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.4 percent at 7,417.73 (close)

Frankfurt - DAX: UP 0.3 percent at 15,189.25 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: DOWN 0.2 percent at 7,047.50 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.1 percent at 4,147.67 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: UP 2.5 percent at 17,664.12 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.7 percent at 3,030.80 (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: Closed for a holiday

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.0733 from $1.0626 on Thursday

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2381 from $1.2204

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 149.37 yen from 150.48 yen

Euro/pound: DOWN at 86.67 pence from 87.04 pence

Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 2.3 percent at $84.89 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 2.4 percent at $80.51 per barrel