Stocks Rise as Tepid Jobs Report Stokes Hopes for Low Rates

(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

U.S. stocks are rising Friday, after a jobs report said that employers added fewer jobs in August than investors had expected, making it a bit less likely that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates later this year. Energy companies are making the biggest gains as the price of oil increases for the first time this week.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average added 85 points, or 0.5 percent, to 18,504 as of 11:25 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 19 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,179. The Nasdaq composite gained 21 points, or 0.4 percent, to 5,248.

JOBS: The government said U.S. employers added 151,000 jobs in August, a bit less than economistshad expected. Compared to the last few months, job gains slowed in most major industries and wages only rose a little. While the U.S. is on a long streak of job growth, reports over the last few months have been inconsistent: Growth was weak in April and May, then picked up in June and July. That has left investors somewhat worried about the health of the U.S. economy and the job market.

FED AHEAD: The Federal Reserve raised interest rates in December and wants to raise them further. Fed Chair Janet Yellen said last week that another increase was growing more likely, although investors already did not expect an increase this month. The weakening jobs figures make it less likely that the Federal Reserve will raise rates at its remaining meetings this year, and since investors are uneasy about the state of the economy, that was something of a relief.

ENERGY: U.S. benchmark crude-oil futures rose $1.05, or 2.4 percent, to $44.20 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the benchmark for international oil prices, added $1.09, or 2.4 percent, to $46.54 a barrel in London. U.S. crude had fallen 9 percent over the last four days. Anadarko Petroleum added $2.20, or 4.1 percent, to $55.74, and Halliburton picked up 79 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $43.82.

HOME SWEET HOME: Household-goods makers traded higher. Colgate-Palmolive, which makes toothpastes, soaps and pet foods, rose $1.02, or 1.4 percent, to $75.29. Tyson Foods, the largest meat and poultry processing company in the world, gained $1.19, or 1.6 percent, to $76.67. Cigarette makers also did well: Reynolds American added $1.04, or 2.1 percent, to $50.79, and Altria Group picked up 69 cents, or 1 percent, to $67.01.

VERY FAR DOWN: VeriFone Systems, which makes terminals used in electronic payments, slumped after it disclosed disappointing revenue and cut its forecast for the year. The company said that adoption of chip payment cards continues to go slower than expected. The stock plunged $3.85, or 19.2 percent, to $16.25.

A REAL LEMON: Athletic apparel maker Lululemon fell after it reported disappointing sales. Its forecast for the rest of the year also failed to inspire investors. The stock tumbled $7.33, or 9.6 percent, to $69.33.

BIOGEN RISES: Drugmaker Biogen added $9.97, or 3.3 percent, to $316 after the company said its early Alzheimer’s disease treatment aducanumab will get a faster review from the Food and Drug Administration. That could help Biogen bring the drug to the market sooner, assuming it meets its goals in clinical studies.

CRUISES BRUISED: Carnival Corp. and Royal Caribbean Cruises took the biggest losses on the S&P 500 index. Morgan Stanley analyst Jamie Rollo said demand for cruises seems to have gotten weaker in August and bookings for late 2016 and early 2017 have slowed down. He downgraded Carnival shares to “Underweight.” Carnival fell $2.40, or 4.9 percent, to $46.30, and Royal Caribbean lost $2.22, or 3.1 percent, to $70.49.

BONDS, CURRENCIES: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose to 1.61 percent from 1.57 percent. The dollar rose to 104.17 yen from 103.32 yen and the euro edged down to $1.1162 from $1.1197.

OVERSEAS: The FTSE 100 in Britain jumped 2.1 percent, and France’s CAC 40 rose 2 percent. In Germany, the DAX climbed 1.3 percent. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index finished practically unchanged, while South Korea’s Kospi edged 0.3 percent higher. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.5 percent.

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