US stocks jump despite weak jobs report

 Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Aug 24, 2015 in New York.
Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Aug 24, 2015 in New York.PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) - Wall Streets stocks finished solidly higher Friday (Oct 2) despite a report showing the United States added just 142,000 jobs in September, much below expectations.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 200.36 points (1.23 per cent) to 16,472.37.

The broad-based S&P 500 jumped 27.54 (1.43 per cent) to 1,951.36, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 80.69 (1.74 per cent) at 4,707.78.

US stocks opened sharply lower following the jobs report, which one leading analyst labeled "decidedly bad."

However, markets turned at midday and picked up considerable buying momentum in the last hour of trade.

Mace Blicksilver, director of Marblehead Asset Management, described the reversal as "confusing."

He said some investors may have been skeptical of the bad jobs numbers given good data earlier in the week, such as Thursday's strong US auto sales.

"A lot of it was technical, people that were short scrambling to buy back things," he said.

Petroleum-linked shares advanced on higher oil prices. Dow members Chevron and ExxonMobil gained 4.1 per cent and 2.5 per cent, respectively, while oil services company Weatherford International jumped 8.4 per cent.

US-listed Chinese stocks rallied, including Internet giant Alibaba (+7.4 per cent), Internet search company Baidu (+8.0 per cent) and the online electronics retailer (+9.1 per cent).

Retail giant Wal-Mart Stores rose 1.1 percent following news it plans to cut 450 jobs from its Arkansas headquarters in a cost-cutting move.

Companies with casinos in Macau soared following reports that Chinese government officials may take steps to boost the Macau economy. Wynn Resorts surged 22.8 per cent and Las Vegas Sands rose 10.5 per cent.

Chipmaker Micron Technology jumped 7.7 per cent after reporting earnings and revenues above expectations. Deutsche Bank said the stock was an "attractive play" for 2016.

Technology stocks climbed, including Amazon (+2.3 per cent), Microsoft (+2.2 per cent), Google (+2.6 per cent) and Apple (+0.7 per cent).

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury sank to 1.98 per cent from 2.04 per cent on Thursday, while the 30-year fell to 2.82 per cent from 2.86 per cent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.