(Businesshala) – US stocks oscillated between gains and losses on Friday after data showed US jobs grew much less than expected in September, but failed to throw the Federal Reserve from its projected course of tapping asset purchases this year. Not slow enough.
Six of the 11 major S&P sectors declined, with defensive real estate, healthcare and utilities being the top losers.
The energy sector rose 2.9%, while rises in mega-cap growth stocks Microsoft, Facebook Inc and Bank of America gave the S&P 500 the biggest boost.
The banking sub-index rose 0.7%, tracking the rise in the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield to its highest level since June 4. [US/]
Tech-heavy Nasdaq was weighed down by declines in broadband and cable operator Charter Communications Inc. and media company Comcast Corp, which fell 4.6% and 3.3%, respectively, after brokerage actions.
The Labor Department’s closely watched non-farm payrolls report showed the US economy created the fewest jobs in nine months in September, amid increased school hiring and labor shortages. While the unemployment rate fell to 4.8% from 5.2% in August, average hourly earnings increased by 0.6% more than expected.
“Overall, this is still in line with continued job growth overall. It may not be as strong as we expected, but it is still showing signs of improvement,” said Raymond James, chief of St. Petersburg, Florida Economist Scott Brown said.
“The Fed cites continued improvement in the labor market for the tapering[and]it adds to the cumulative evidence.”
Weak data also did not change expectations of a rate hike. Futures on the federal funds rate are expected to gain a quarter-digit strength by November or December of next year.
The numbers follow better-than-expected private jobs data and weekly jobless claims reports, while a temporary relief from the US Senate agrees to raise the federal government’s $28.4 trillion debt limit, three major US indices set for weekly gains. We do.
At 11:39 a.m., the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 13.23 points, or 0.04%, at 34,768.17, the S&P 500 was up 0.73 points, or 0.02%, at 4,400.49 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 35.24 points, or 0.24. %, at 14,618.77.
Advancing issues declined by a 1.17-to-1 ratio on the NYSE. The decline issues in the number of advances to a 1.08-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 23 new 52-week highs and three new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 68 new highs and 65 new lows.