Wall Street hits record after strong jobs data

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 eclipsed its July closing record. The S&P has climbed for four straight weeks, its longest streak since February, while the Nasdaq has gained in five straight weeks as quarterly earnings have come in stronger than anticipated and US-China trade rhetoric has appeared to be productive. The Dow sits less than 12 points from a closing record.

Before 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 301.13 points, or 1.11 per cent, to 27,347.36, the S&P 500 gained 29.35 points, or 0.97 per cent, to 3,066.91 and the Nasdaq Composite added 94.04 points, or 1.13 per cent, to 8,386.40.

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 to be in good shape.

About 76 per cent of the 356 S&P 500 companies that have reported so far have beaten profit estimates, according to Refinitiv data.

However, profit growth forecasts for the next four quarters have been revised lower, even as expectations for a decline in third-quarter earnings have shrunk to 0.8 per cent from 2.2 per cent at the start of October.

Oil major Exxon Mobil  rose 3 per cent after it beat recently lowered third-quarter profit expectations. The energy sector gained 2.5 per cent as the best-performing S&P sector, and oil prices jumped on trade deal progress.


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