US STOCKS-Wall St rallies on bullish jobs report

Fri Oct 3, 2014 11:18am EDT
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By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK Oct 3 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were higher on Friday after the September jobs report came in ahead of expectations, though major indexes remained on track for a second straight weekly decline.

The day's gains were broad, with eight of the 10 primary S&P 500 sectors rising on the day, led by healthcare and financial names. The S&P 500 climbed back above its 100-day moving average, a sign of improving momentum, after closing under that level for the previous two sessions.

Energy stocks continued to falter, however, falling 0.7 percent alongside a 1.4 percent slump in the price of crude oil . The sector has lost 4.5 percent this week, its biggest weekly decline since June 2012.

The non-farm payroll report showed 248,000 jobs added in September, considerably more than the 215,000 that had been expected. August's number was revised up to 180,000 from 142,000. The report eased concerns about the pace of economic growth, but was also not seen as so strong that it would influence the Federal Reserve's consideration of how soon to raise interest rates.

"We're looking at a pretty sound fundamental picture, which has us tilted towards the upside, but that doesn't preclude any sharp pullback," said Katrina Lamb, head of investment strategy and research at MV Financial in Bethesda, Maryland, who added that any pullback would likely be short.

Despite the declines this week, investors have continued a trend of buying on dips. After falling as much as 2.9 percent this week and at one point dropping under its 150-day moving average, a level it had not breached since November 2012, the S&P has recovered much of those losses and is now down 0.9 percent.

The Dow is down 1 percent for the week while the Nasdaq is down 0.6 percent. It is the second straight weekly decline for all three indexes.

The Dow Jones industrial average was rising 137.2 points, or 0.82 percent, to 16,938.25, the S&P 500 was gaining 18.09 points, or 0.93 percent, to 1,964.26 and the Nasdaq Composite was adding 52.49 points, or 1.18 percent, to 4,482.68.

Advancing issues were outnumbering declining ones on the NYSE by 2,058 to 867, for a 2.37-to-1 ratio on the upside; on the Nasdaq, 1,936 issues were rising and 596 falling for a 3.25-to-1 ratio favoring advancers.

The benchmark S&P 500 index was posting 9 new 52-week highs and 5 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 28 new highs and 28 new lows. (Editing by Bernadette Baum; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)