Stocks: Jobs Report, Fed's Powell Help Boost S&P 500

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Investing.com – Stocks moved mostly higher on Friday, thanks in part to a decent jobs report and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s continued assurance the central bank stands ready to support the economic expansion.

The rose 0.1%, with the up 0.26%. The slipped to a small loss at the end of the day because of weakness in Amazon.com (NASDAQ:), Microsoft (NASDAQ:) and Apple (NASDAQ:).

Plus, White House Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow suggested it may take some time to get a trade deal with China. Tech stocks are heavily exposed to China. Stocks had soared Wednesday and Thursday on news that U.S. and Chinese negotiators expect to meet next month in Washington, D.C.

The major averages finished higher for a second straight week. The S&P 500 was up 1.8% on the week. The Dow added 1.5% and the Nasdaq was up 1.76%. A week ago, the S&P 500 was up 2.8%, with the Dow up 3% and the Nasdaq up 2.7%.

The August showed payroll employment added 130,000 jobs in August, less than expected, and the U.S. held at 3.7%. The employment figure would have been lower except for 25,000 workers put on the government payroll to prepare for the 2020 census. Payroll estimates for June and July were revised lower.

But the report did not suggest a recession was in the offing.

Indeed, Fed Chairman Powell, speaking in Switzerland, said the economy is healthy and not in danger of falling into a recession. His remarks followed the usual tweets from President Trump calling for deep rate cuts when the Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee meets Sept. 17-18. The central bank is expected to cut its key federal funds rate by a quarter percentage point – not as much as the president wants.

Telecom, energy, materials and staples stocks

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