US jobs data, trade progress boost S&P, Nasdaq to record highs

New York: US stocks climbed on Friday as the S&P hit an intraday record for the fourth time this week after an upbeat US jobs report and data on Chinese manufacturing lessened concerns about slowing global growth.

Job growth slowed less than forecast in October, as a drag from a strike at General Motors was made up for in other areas of the labour market, while job gains in the prior two months were stronger than previously thought.

“It’s really good. The market should like it because obviously with the GM strike, manufacturing being affected by that, it is a very nice report and one people should be pretty excited about overall,” said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade in Chicago.

The strong jobs number helped overshadow a report that showed the manufacturing sector contracted for a third straight month.

Along with the S&P’s new high, the Nasdaq topped its July intraday record after both indexes closed out October with their best monthly performance since June as quarterly earnings have come in stronger than anticipated and US-China trade rhetoric has appeared productive.

Prior to the jobs report, sentiment was supported by data showing China manufacturing activity unexpectedly expanded in October, easing concerns about a slowdown in demand from the world’s second-largest economy as a result of US tariffs.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 250.48 points, or 0.93%, to 27,296.71, the S&P 500 gained 24.68 points, or 0.81%, to 3,062.24 and the Nasdaq Composite added 73.29 points, or 0.88%, to 8,365.65.

US-China trade news remained supportive for stocks, as Beijing’s state media Xinhua News Agency reported the two countries have “reached consensus on principles.” Earlier, US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross said the “phase one” trade pact with China appeared in good shape.

About 76% of the 356 S&P 500 companies that have reported so far have

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