Dow seen opening higher after moderate U.S. job gains allows unemployment to fall to 50 year low

U.S. stocks rose at the start of trade Friday, reversing losses in premarket trade, after the Labor Department estimated that the American economy added 136,000 jobs in August, enough to let the unemployment rate to fall to a 50-year low of 3.5%, but not to dissuade the Federal Reserve from cutting interest rates further this year.

Investors await a speech from Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell later Friday.

How are benchmarks performing?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.66%  rose 134 points, or 0.5%, at 26,339, the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.64%  added 14 points, or 0.5% to 2,925, while the Nasdaq Composite COMP, +0.73%  advanced 42 points, or 0.5%, to 7,915.

On Thursday, the Dow closed up 122.42 points, or 0.47%, at 26,201.04 while the S&P 500 index rose 23.02 points, or 0.8% to 2,910.63, and the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 87.02 points to 7,872.26, a gain of 1.12%.

For the week, the Dow is on pace for a decline of 2.3% so far, the S&P 500 is set for a drop of 1.7%, the Nasdaq was set for a weekly drop of 0.9%, while the Russell 2000 index RUT, +0.39%, which suffered a bearish “death cross” on Thursday, was on track to shed 2.2%.

What’s driving the stock market?

The 136,000 new U.S. jobs created in September were slightly below the 150,000 forecast by economists surveyed by MarketWatch, but revisions to July and August job growth showed that the U.S. economy added 38,000 more jobs in those months than previously thought. The average job growth of 157,000 during the past three months is enough to keep the unemployment rate trending down, even as it illustrates a steady slowing of job growth in the U.S. labor market.

“This is the classic definition of a ‘Goldilocks’ report,” Michael Arone, chief

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