Stocks surge after jobs report crushes expectations

Jonathan Garber

Stocks opened higher Friday after the November jobs report blew past expectations.

The report showed the U.S. economy added 266,000 nonfarm jobs as the unemployment rate slipped to 3.5 percent. Economists surveyed by Refinitiv were expecting the addition of 180,000 and the unemployment rate to hold at 3.6 percent.

“This is a blowout number and the U.S. economy continues to be all about the jobs,” said Tony Bedikian, head of global markets for Citizens Bank.

Contributing to the economic strength was a statement from the Chinese Ministry of Finance which said Beijing will waive tariffs on some soybean and pork purchases.

All three of the major averages opened higher with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 211 points or 0.8 percent. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite gained 0.7 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively. Friday's gains have U.S. stocks on track for a third straight day of gains after they snapped a three-day losing streak on Wednesday.

President Trump celebrated the stock market's strength in a tweet.

Uber shares were lower after the ride-hailing company disclosed it received nearly 6,000 complaints from drivers and passengers during 2017 and 2018 of alleged sexual assaults.

Elsewhere, Peloton bounced back after shedding 15 percent over the previous three sessions. Shares came under pressure after the release of a controversial holiday ad, but the selling was likely the result of profit-taking, as the stock had gained 62 percent since Nov. 5.

Oil prices were lower after OPEC and its allies agreed to cut production by 500,000 barrels per day through March. Brent crude oil, the international benchmark, was unchanged at $63.40 a barrel while West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark, was off 0.2 percent at $58.30.

U.S. Treasurys were under pressure with selling causing the yield on the 10-year note to climb by 5.7 basis points to 1.852 percent.

In Europe, Britain's FTSE gained 0.5 percent, France's CAC was up 1.1 percent and Germany's DAX was higher by 0.8 percent.

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In Asian trading, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 1.1 percent, Japan's Nikkei rose 0.2 percent and China's Shanghai Composite climbed 0.4 percent.

FOX Business' Megan Henney and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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